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Former Bidvest Wits midfielder Papy Faty ready to return to professional football

Posted: 22 July 2018 Time: 08:00

Clubless Burundi international Papy Faty says he is ready to play professionally again after taking some time off on doctor's orders.

Faty is trying to revive his career after a heart condition derailed his progress at Bidvest Wits two years ago, and saw a prospective move to National First Division side Royal Eagles fall through in early 2017. 

The 27-year-old midfielder insists he is ready for action once more following the lengthy lay-off.                                              

"Papy Faty is still alive, he is there you know working left and right, working my way back," Faty tells KickOff.com.

"I'm looking to find an opportunity with a team, working my way back you know. With the past incidents it is not easy you know to find my way back, but I'm ready for any challenge, for any time to do any medical report for any club that I can go to do my trial there. I'm ready for anything." 

Faty took the opportunity to explain why the move to Eagles failed to materialise. 

"You know about Royal Eagles, the problem was when I went there the things they found at Wits were not the same thing that they found at Royal Eagles. The doctor said it's a matter of resting, that just I needed to rest. He told me to rest for three months then after three months then I can go back there so he can check again, and then after that he can give me the go ahead.  

"But the issue that I had there, the doctor said that issue cannot stop me from playing soccer. That's the only information he told me. And you know Royal Eagles, they needed me to start the second half of the season with them. After the doctor said I need to rest for three months, they then said like they cannot wait for three months because they wanted me like immediately. Ja, so that was the problem you know. I decided okay, let me go and rest for that three months and then I will see how it goes."  

Faty has resumed training at the Opopo Academy in Johannesburg, and has appealed for potential suitors to give him a chance to show that his health issues are behind him. 

"I have been training at that Opopo Academy, they train at Zoo Lake. It's now almost like two months. We've been training some friendlies with some NFD clubs. We played against Witbank Spurs, some Vodacom [ABC Motsepe League] teams. We've played more than 10 games now. When [Orlando Pirates’] Thabo Qalinge was injured he was there to work on his condition to try his way back. He was training with the boys there. 

"We spoke to Royal Kings in Durban, but they never called back. I'm looking to see if I can find some other offers, anywhere. I'm just here to keep myself fit for any club that can take me to do a medical to see. Because football-wise, condition-wise, fitness-wise I'm ready like to face any club.  

"Witbank, also they were attracted but it becomes like the matter of agency. There's one agent who went there to say like he is representing me without my knowledge. So when they called them to say Papy did not talk to any agent about you guys, it showed there was a problem of misunderstanding.  

"I also have an offer to go to Saudi Arabia but I'm still working on it. The only thing I can tell the bosses and the soccer family is just it's a matter of giving me a chance. Forget about what happened in the past when I was at Wits. Take me to the club to train with you. If the coach is gonna be interested you can take me for a medical. The medical with them will show the record if I'm better or if I'm fine, or if I'm not fine." 

Fathy continues: "I don't think it is fair because like they need to give me a chance and see if what other people were saying it's true or isn't. You know it's difficult not to do something that you love the most you know, knowing that the thing that they tell you that you have is not the real thing you do have.  

"In the past I spoke to some other clubs who were interested to me like Pirates, Sundowns. I spoke to some people there at Sundowns. I spoke to the coach himself. But the thing is everybody when they hear about the situation they will say, 'no Papy is not fine, don't give him that chance. You are taking a risk by using him'. You know like when they hear from the club they think it's true.  

"I just think Wits, they were hurt because when I left they were expecting from me to get some money. Like they know they spent a lot on me, they needed something in return. So for me to just go free for them it wasn't looking good.  

"You know in Europe if you see the likes of [Nwankwo] Kanu for an example when he was at Inter, they said 'no we don't wanna use Kanu, because like Kanu's got a heart condition and whatever'. But they did not like say to any team if you use him it's a risk. No. All the clubs when a player goes somewhere they always wish him the best. It was very difficult for Wits to wish me the best but instead they used to tell different clubs to not take a risk, which is not good.  

"It is not easy living like not getting any income. I have been surviving like left and right you know, like a man can survive. For two months I have been working as an analyst at Kwese TV. So, ja that's where I used to get some small income and whatever ...(sighing) and life goes on." 

Article by: Sipho Mlotha
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