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Being home helps me mentally, says Stellenbosch FC’s new recruit Fawaaz Basadien

Stellenbosch new boy Fawaaz Basadien, third from left, is happy to be back in the Western Cape after helping Swallows avoid relegation last season.

Stellenbosch new boy Fawaaz Basadien, third from left, is happy to be back in the Western Cape after helping Swallows avoid relegation last season. Picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 2, 2022


Cape Town — At the end of last season, Fawaaz Basadien faced an uncertain future.

With Swallows FC consigned to the PSL promotion-relegation playoffs after having won just four games all season, the talented left back was left wondering what the future may hold.

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Although he played a part in Swallows surviving the playoffs lottery and ultimately avoiding relegation, he could not hide his excitement when Stellenbosch FC chairperson Rob Benadie and coach Steve Barker called to inquire whether he was interested in joining the ambitious Winelands club.

Basadien was still only halfway through his two-year contract at Swallows, but the opportunity to return to his Western Cape home was too much of a drawcard.

“There was a stage where I wasn’t sure if I was going back to Swallows, and what’s happening,” Basadien told IOL Sport at the Stellenbosch’s season launch at Markotter Stadium yesterday.

“But then I got a call from Stellenbosch, and they made it clear that they really wanted me here. They kept pushing, even though Swallows wanted me to stay there.

“It’s really good to be back. I’ve been away for two years, and obviously during this time, I didn’t get to see my family a lot. But now that I’m home, it is good mentally and helps a lot.

“Being home also helps me to focus better, which develops me as a footballer more. It wasn’t easy for me, because I still had a year left on my Swallows contract.

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“But they really wanted me, and kept on pushing until they came to an agreement, and fortunately for me, it worked out.”

A product of Milano Football Club, Basadien first caught the eye as a teenager during the Bayhill Under-19 tournament with a stellar performance against Kaizer Chiefs.

This led to an eventual move to Cape Town City, before playing a couple of seasons in the NFD for Ubuntu FC and Steenberg United.

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The 25-year-old was also a talented cricketer, having represented Western Province’s youth teams, before deciding to focus on football.

Basadien believes the move to Stellenbosch FC will elevate his game to the next level, due to the support structures at the Danie Craven Stadium.

“The way they do things here, in terms of looking after the players, has really impressed me already,” he said.

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“The facilities that are accessible to us, and also their data analysis … They put a lot into the club. What I also like here at Stellenbosch is the diversity and unity at the club, and it is very welcoming.

“There is some kind of pressure (after Stellenbosch’s impressive results last season) to perform.

“But it’s nice to do well because it sets standards that the players know they are capable of achieving.

“We want to try and improve on last year, and have a good couple of Cup runs, but the main focus is to do well again and compete for the top eight instead of fighting relegation, as in previous seasons.”


IOL Sport