BAFANA Bafana midfielder Keagan Dolly is confident that 2018 will bring him luck in his football career.
The year 2017, however, has been one the former Mamelodi Sundowns star would want to swiftly forget.
The 24-year-old player has seen little action since he joined French Ligue 1 side Montpellier in January. As if that was not bad enough, Dolly was part of the Bafana squad that failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Despite the setbacks, Dolly believes the dark clouds will soon pass.
While other players are enjoying the festive break with their families, Dolly has been working hard, playing in the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge to maintain his fitness.
He told SunSport the chopping and changing of coaches at Montpellier was the reason why he struggled to make an impact in France.
Explained Dolly: “There has been a lot of changes in the coaching department since I arrived there. I have already played under three coaches and each one always introduces new tactics. It’s difficult to adapt quickly.
“We all know that it’s not easy when you are not at home – the preparations for games are different. I also had to overcome the language barrier and adapt to a different lifestyle.”
Dolly returns to France today, aiming to impress coach Michael Der Zakarian. “We have a good coach who knows what he wants us to achieve. We are all backing him. It’s just a matter of time before I play regularly. I want to start 2018 with a bang.
“Being home for Christmas and doing nothing is not good, that’s why I decided to play in the Walter Sisulu Challenge and also inspire youngsters to follow their dreams.”
Dolly hopes Lady Luck will smile on Bafana too so that they qualify for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. But the dribbling wizard stresses that Bafana coach Stuart Baxter needs to invest more in youngsters.
“Our World Cup fate was in our own hands but we threw it away against Cape Verde. We have good youngsters like Percy Tau and (Phakamani) Mahlambi – we need to invest more in our youth.
“Overseas, we have many youngsters of 16 and 17 years old playing in Ligue 1.
“They get opportunities and exposure there. If we start grooming more youngsters we will have a strong national team.”