Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has expressed his sympathy for midfielder Keagan Dolly while revealing how he was previously reduced to tears upon picking up an injury in camp.
Dolly has experienced gross misfortune in recent months, having spent most of last season on the side-lines at French club Montpellier, before returning for a brief period only to suffer another set-back with the national team.
This was back in March, when Dolly was due to make his return in the final AFCON 2019 qualifier against Libya but was dealt a blow on the eve of the match and subsequently missed the closing of the Ligue 1 campaign as he worked his way back.
The 26-year-old was on course to make the Bafana-AFCON squad and had volunteered to use the COSAFA Cup as a platform to prove his readiness, but this failed as he again suffered a groin strain that subsequently stopped him from participating the tournament or making the final 23-man squad to compete in Egypt.
The former Mamelodi Sundowns star then recently pulled out of the Nelson Mandela Challenge victory over Mali after just half an hour on pitch, after picking up another injury.
“It was a very unfortunate situation. I remember when we went to play Libya in Tunisia, Keagan Dolly got injured in our last training session before the game [in March],” said Ntseki.
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“He felt very bad and he was actually crying, and we had to send him back to his club. We then had to prepare for the AFCON, and Keagan came back and asked to play in the COSAFA, and he went to camp with that team in Durban.
“Unfortunately, he didn’t make it because he got injured again, so it has been very difficult for him as a player, but I think he’s a very strong man mentally.
“He started this game, he was buzzing and doing very well for himself and for the team, but unfortunately he got a knock and had to be pulled out – I really felt bad for him, because of the energy and attitude we always get from Dolly.”