Lyle Lakay has played for various clubs but is now he hoping to finally get a league title with Mamelodi Sundowns. Photo: Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
Lyle Lakay is especially eager to capture a maiden Absa Premiership winner’s medal during his spell with Mamelodi Sundowns after missing out on the country’s premier domestic trophy years ago in his debut season.

The 27-year-old left-footer, who can operate as a wing-back or an attacking left winger, burst onto the scene back in 2009 when he was still on the books of SuperSport United.

Unfortunately for Lakay, a league triumph eluded him after moving on loan to FC Cape Town in the middle of the 2009/10 season.

The move to the National First Division outfit saw Lakay missing out on a dream debut in professional football.

And ever since that season he has never come close to earning a league champion’s medal but his move to Sundowns will surely get him closer to his dream.

He now says: “I want to win everything that is at stake but mainly the league. I missed out (in 2009/10 when SuperSport earned their third triumph on the trot).

“I went on loan to FC Cape Town. Daine (Klate) hurt his collarbone in that season and Gavin (Hunt, then SuperSport coach) wanted me back as the cover for Masibusane Zongo. The coach at FC Cape Town, though, asked Hunt if he could keep me and he did. Otherwise, I could have gone back and I would have had a league medal by now. That's life, of course, but hopefully I can win one here with Sundowns.”

It has been a long wait  eight years  but Lakay is adamant it could finally happen at Sundowns.

There’s no arguing with him if the success Sundowns have attained over the years under the tutelage of Pitso Mosimane is anything to go by.

The club have enjoyed a trophy-laden spell under the loquacious master tactician. He has delivered an astonishing three league titles in six years for the Brazilians who are the defending league champions.

Having familiar faces around him has made things easier for Lakay to adapt at the club. “Coming to the club, I don’t think it was that difficult. Everyone was so welcoming,” he said. “I'd also played with a lot of guys here before, Hlompo Kekana, Denis Onyango, Tebogo Langerman and Anthony Laffor, when I was still at SuperSport. I also played with Thapelo Morena at Bloemfontein Celtic."

Lakay has played as a wing-back before in his career but it is his ability to go past the opposition defence that has made him hot property. So he has had to adapt to his new position at fullback.

“Yes, tactically is has been different because you defend more than you attack. As fullback, though, you are also part of the attack."

Lakay realises that there is plenty of competition for a place in the team but, rather than being just a squad player, he wants to back his presence at the club with significant contributions.

“Every two games that I play I want to have at least one assist. If one player can contribute 10 assists in a season then you stand a better chance of doing well," he explained.

Most players who hail from Cape Town have struggled in Gauteng but Lakay is backing himself to buck that trend. “I mean, I’ve spent most of my career playing outside of Cape Town. To be honest the only time I was there was last year. So I'm comfortable away from the Mother City.. Being away from home for most of my career has helped me a lot. And wherever I find myself, I'm willing to make the sacrifices in order to succeed. Right now, I'm lucky to be at Downs."


Sunday Independent

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