Amajita midfielder Luke Le Roux has made the step up from the MultiChoice Diski to top-flight football in Sweden and he's now ready to flourish further as one of South Africa's brightest prospects.
The 20-year-old was already held in high regard since earning a place in the junior national team setup since U-17 level due to his standout performances within the academy ranks of Stellenbosch FC and SuperSport United.
Having featured prominently in the Africa U-20 Cup of Nations last year, in which they finished in third place to qualify for the U-20 World Cup in Poland, the technically gifted midfielder showed Mzansi a glimpse of his raw talent.
With a fluid style of play as a natural box-to-box midfielder able to win possession and orchestrate quick counter-attacking passes, it came as no surprise to see him earn a move to Europe before an official Absa Premiership debut.
Le Roux fulfilled a 'dream' of moving overseas with Allsvenskan outfit Varbergs BoIS after impressing on a two-week trial organised by his agency Forwardzone Football - which he duly notes has been quite a journey since his representatives first informed him about the opportunity.
"My agent was in contact with Varbergs BoIS and they invited me for a trial last year in September and I impressed them here during my two weeks," Le Roux tells to KickOff.com.
"A few weeks later I received a call from my agent to confirm their interest and as they say, the rest is history. Sweden is amazing, the people are friendly, my teammates are nice guys, it's summer now so everything is getting better for me because I came here in winter while it was snowing and raining every day, which made it difficult to adapt."
From torrential rains to a global pandemic, the 20-year-old's innate talent on the pitch is matched by his mindset and ability to turn the negatives into positives alongside his compatriots Keanin Ayer and Tashreeq Matthews.
"The Covid-19 pandemic was a bit of a layoff but also on the brighter side, it gave me more time to prepare and know my teammates more," he said. "And yes, it's a big step from MDC to Allsvenskan but it's something I've been waiting for, for quite a long time.
"Having them here makes a big difference. I played with Tassie since I was probably 12 or 13 at Ajax Cape Town and with Keanin, we know each other for a year or two. But having both of them here helps me.
"We actually share an apartment and it's always nice to have your countrymen with you, three South Africans in one team. They can help me off the pitch too because they've been in Europe before me."
On his recent Allsvenksan debut, in which Varberg beat Helsinborg 3-0, Le Roux suggests it's given him the confidence to achieve more by simply enjoying the unexpected experience from initially biding his time for a chance at Matsatsansa to playing at the highest level in the Scandinavian country.
"Making my debut was a great experience. Obviously I was a bit nervous, it's a good sign, but once you get onto the field of play and have one or two touches, everything becomes natural, you start enjoying yourself," he explained.
"I think nobody knows me yet in Sweden since it's my first season in the Allsvenskan. In fact, it's our first season here as Varbergs BoIS.
"I hope we can surprise a lot of teams and do well in the league. Personally I would just like to play as many games as possible and just have a good season."
Story by: Lorenz_KO