Lakay honoured to make history
Posted: 1 December 2014 Time: 09:59 pm
South African striker Fagrie Lakay says he is proud after becoming South Africa’s youngest-ever player following his debut in Bafana Bafana’s 2-0 win over Ivory Coast.
The 17-year-old Santos forward came on in the 76th minute of the Nelson Mandela Challenge against the Elephants, breaking the record recently set by Ajax Cape Town’s Rivaldo Coetzee as the youngest ever player to wear the national jersey for Bafana.
“It is a great feeling and great achievement but it doesn’t mean it stops here,” Lakay told Safa’s website. “I broke one record now and now it means I need to keep on working hard because there are now expectations out there for me to continue to do well.
“I just need to keep my feet on the ground and wherever I am playing just keep on working hard.”
The young teenager revealed his parents were the first people he called after rewriting South Africa’s history books.
“I phoned my parents because they are the ones who are supporting me and always motivating me, so I am thankful to them because if it wasn’t for them I would not be here, and also if you do well they are the first ones to celebrate with you at the same time if things don’t go well they are the first ones to support you,” he said.
Lakay revealed that playing in the Mandela Challenge was a special moment for him especially, being a “born-free”.
“Being a born-free, as we are called, the game meant a lot to me because it is a celebration of the name of Tata Madiba who did so much for us by fighting for our freedom,” he said.
“So we are really privileged to be playing today, and I happy to have been a part of this occasion.”
Lakay was an integral member of the South Africa U-20 side that secured their passage to the 2015 CAF African Youth Championship, and became the first of that team to earn a senior national cap.
“It was a great feeling because there are many 17-year-olds out there in our country, and I believe I am privileged to be the only one in that age group to make my Bafana Bafana debut,” he said.
Lakay also revealed his gratitude to coach Shakes Mashaba for affording him this opportunity.
“It really meant a lot and I would like to thank coach Shakes Mashaba because he played a major role in my footballing career and want to say thanks also for giving me this opportunity,” the youngster said.