Cape Town - A former Cape Town soccer player is flying the South African flag high in the US as he was voted the best Goalkeeper of the year award by his team.
Taariq Ganga, received the Goalkeeper of the Year award following his impressive performances at Bellevue University, a team from Nebraska.
“When I received the award I was happy and very content, this season hasn’t been the easiest for me. I have been working hard on myself and as a footballer to get back to where I was,” Ganga said.
Ganga was awarded the opportunity to play soccer in the States in 2021 and was later awarded a full scholarship.
“I started in Iowa and lived in a small community called Spencer and that was where my new life began but I got another full Scholarship to join a four-year college at a university called Bellevue,” he said.
“I miss home, my family, my coaches and mentors but you mainly just learn how to navigate your thoughts and you learn to deal with things.”
Ganga started playing soccer at the age of seven in Portland’s streets and overcame many challenges to thrive in the sport.
“Growing up, we lived in a Wendy house in my grandma’s backyard. I was once told that a person should work with the hope that things will work out.
“Therefore as a player, you have to put in the extra effort into your schoolwork and football,” he said.
He was part of the Ubuntu Football Academy and also played in their Motsepe league team.
Taariq now wants to inspire young soccer players from Cape Town to continue to put in the hard work.
“The biggest piece of advice that I can give to a young aspiring soccer player is to never feel that you cannot achieve anything.
He now dreams of following in the footsteps of renowned Goalkeepers who have represented SA on the international stage over the years.
“As a footballer, it is always a dream to wear the colours of your country. As long as I am playing football, playing for your country is always a goal and if the man wants it to happen, it will happen,” Ganga said.