Absa Premiership

Can Dolly rid Sundowns of under-achiever tag?

2015-08-07 14:21
Keagan Dolly (Supplied)

"Well, hello Dolly" is how immortalised singer Louis Armstrong may have crooned the belated arrival of 22-year-old prodigy Keagan Dolly at Mamelodi Sundowns, a year after his transfer from Ajax Cape Town was confirmed.

For whatever reason, Dolly spent an extra season at his erstwhile Cape Town club after it became known he would be heading to Sundowns.

And in his first official tournament appearance for The Brazilians in a first-round MTN8 match this week, the prodigy from Johannesburg's stark Westbury environment displayed signs of his exciting potential in spite of Sundowns going down to a shock, inexplicable penalty shootout defeat against nemesis club, Bloemfontein Celtic.

But in spite of this, Dolly's inventive influence was not sufficient to negotiate Sundowns into a semi-final berth - and so the question remains as to whether he can rid The Brazilians of the curious, unexplained malaise that has earned for billionaire owner Patrice Motsepe's club the frustrating reputation of under-achievers.

Look at it this way. Sundowns are not only recognised as the wealthiest soccer club in South Africa as mining magnate Motsepe's hobby horse, but their facilities are second to none, their wealth has bought what might be termed an excess of players and their preparation for the coming season was methodical and second to none, with training camps and a series of friendlies in neighbouring countries.

They could not have done a better job in this respect. Yet instead of romping away from the rest of the PSL field as their apparent advantages might suggest, they were unable to stamp their superiority over Celtic and suspicions remain that the undetected flaw in their make-up still exists.

It is unlikely that one player alone will banish the problem, not even one with the talent of the budding Dolly.

As for Dolly, he undoubtedly has the credentials to be a major influence at Sundowns. But some of the excessive praise already heaped on him by those you would expect would know better about the South African Under-23 player, can only place an additional, unnecessary burden on his diminutive shoulders.

For example, did someone in high SAFA places really say he could walk into the famed Barcelona team at this point of his development?

Excessive as that might be, Dolly's rare soccer instinct, free-kick from 25-metres that thundered against the crossbar, pin-point passing and ability to know where the ball should go and when, provided moments of magic against Celtic.

It is hoped his contribution continues to flourish at Sundowns - instead of having an adverse effect in the way the club's vaunted environment has back-fired on more than one gifted player who has ventured into the Chloorkop club's glittering citadel.

Read more on:    mamelodi sundowns  |  psl  |  soccer

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