Local News 19.6.2017 11:26 am

Dolly urges SA players to play abroad

Keagan Dolly with Percy Tau (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Keagan Dolly with Percy Tau (Photo by Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images)

Bafana Bafana midfielder Keagan Dolly has urged more local players to leave the PSL and play abroad.

Dolly, who left Mamelodi Sundowns to join French side Montpellier in January, says South African players have to change the mentality that they struggle to settle in Europe.

“If you want to develop and test yourself among the best footballers in world football, then I would encourage more South African players to go abroad,” Dolly told BBC Sport.

“I felt like I wanted to challenge myself, embrace new culture, new football and face something completely different.

“You look at Steven Pienaar [former Everton and Tottenham midfielder] who has spent over 15 years in Europe; you can only draw inspiration from him.

“I feel like I am representing my country in France so I just try to do my best so that I can open doors for more South African players.”

The former Ajax Cape Town player believes that with more players going to Europe will further help narrow the gap between South Africa and other countries like Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Egypt and Ghana.

“Don’t get me wrong, South African players have benefited immensely from playing in the Caf Champions League and Confederations Cup, but we have to change the mentality that we struggle to settle in Europe.

“Our players must be mentally strong, if your mentality isn’t right you won’t succeed anyway and that goes with life as well.

“You need to be prepared for challenges and I think with South Africa we tend to be complacent, enjoy living at home where the spotlight is on us, so we don’t want to leave the comfort zone.

“I think those of us playing abroad can only encourage the young ones like we were encouraged by people who did it before us.

“Take a look at the African countries playing in the World Cups and competing for the Nations Cup title, to challenge them we must sacrifice like their players who are exposed to tough leagues and competitions in Europe,” concluded Dolly.

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