Patosi relishing big stage

In his debut season in European football, the 19-year-old from Cape Town will take part in Saturday’s Belgian Cup Final in Brussels against Darren Keet’s KV Kortrijk.

The attacking midfielder has played an important part in their progress to the final for the first time since 1981 and now Patosi has his eyes set on bringing back the trophy.

“It’s very exciting – for my first season in Europe to make it to a big final is amazing,” Patosi tells KickOff.com.

“The club has only got this far once before but it was a long time ago. So to have the opportunity to win a trophy is a really great experience for me and I just hope we can put in a good performance.”

Lokeren just missed out on finishing in the league’s top six playoffs on Wednesday night, with Anele Ngcongca’s Racing Genk and Kortrijk just pipping them to the post to secure spots in the end-of-season playoffs. Despite never having represented South Africa at any junior level, Patosi was tipped as a future Bafana Bafana star by Ngcongca last week.

And the product of the Africa Soccer Developments academy in The Mother City acknowledged the presence of the Bafana right back has helped him settle in Belgium.

“I’ve known Anele for a long time so when I’m free, I go over to his place and we chat a lot,” he says.

“I came to Belgium when I was 16 and stayed at his place while I was playing for Genk. It’s great to have him here. We talk the same language so that makes things a lot easier.”

But with Ngcongca looking to leave Genk at the end of the season after winning every domestic honour available in a five-year stay, Patosi believes he still has plenty to learn in the Jupiler League.

“I think it would be good for me to stay in Belgium because I’ve only been here a year and it’s important to gain experience,” he confirms.

“Lokeren have given me the chance to play but next season I want to make myself a first choice every week and then, if I’m doing well, then things may happen.”

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