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Kaizer Chiefs’ Keagan Dolly: Am I doing enough as a player?

FILE - Kaizer Chiefs’ Keagan Dolly in action during their DStv Premiership match against Swallows FC at Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg last November. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

FILE - Kaizer Chiefs’ Keagan Dolly in action during their DStv Premiership match against Swallows FC at Dobsonville Stadium in Johannesburg last November. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Published May 5, 2022

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Johannesburg — Keagan Dolly is at pains with the manner in which his beloved Kaizer Chiefs have fallen from grace in the last seven seasons.

Before joining Chiefs this season after leaving French Ligue 1 side Montpellier, Dolly had always admired the club from a distance, despite playing for rivals Mamelodi Sundowns at some point.

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However, life at Amakhosi didn't get off to the ideal start that the lad from Westbury, a township west of Johannesburg, had dreamt of as a kid: winning trophies and hogging the headlines for the right reasons.

Chiefs are on course to finish a seventh season in a row without a trophy after missing out on all the major titles. A feat that’s defying for a club known as the “Cup Kings of South African Football”.

“We all know that Chiefs is a big club in South Africa and Africa. I grew up supporting the club, watching the coach (Arthur Zwane) playing and winning trophies,” the winger-cum-striker said.

“With me knowing the history of the club, I knew that coming here (after leaving Montpellier), there’s a high possibility to challenge for trophies.

“But now that we didn’t win anything this season, it’s hard for me to accept that because of the calibre of players that we have. Sometimes you need to reflect and ask yourself: ‘Am I doing enough as a player?’ But at the end of the day, it’s not a one man show.”

In another life, Dolly and Co. wouldn’t have had to look further than interim coach Zwane for motivation and learning what it takes for a player to be successful at the club. Zwane, is after all, a legend at Amakhosi after serving for 22 years.

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But Zwane’s appointment came a little bit too late, with his predecessor Stuart Baxter having caused most of the damage during his porous second stint.

Dolly, though, has remained positive, saying they are still learning from Zwane, who won multiple trophies with Chiefs in his heyday.

“We are looking forward to working with coach Arthur, helping each other and growing," Dolly said. "You can see coach Arthur is learning and the players are trying to learn from him as well, so it’s a good working environment for us."

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With the teams' options for winning silverware having come and gone, Chiefs can only salvage their season by qualifying for continental football, particularly, the CAF Champions League, next season.

But that’s easier said than done. It’s crunch time in the league season, with every team fighting for themselves in the last three matches. Chiefs are fourth on the standings with 42 points, three behind the second-placed Royal AM.

In their next encounter, Chiefs will face rivals and the newly crowned champions Sundowns, where Dolly won the local championship and the converted African crown.

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The match between the two South African giants will see three points and the bragging rights up for grabs. And Dolly says they have to grind out the result and build on their midweek momentum where they beat Marumo Gallants 1-0.

“They are in good spirits after winning the league. But we are not focusing on Sundowns or whatever happens outside the field,” Dolly said ahead of the clash at FNB Stadium tomorrow. “We’ve just got to give a good performance and get the maximum points.”

@Mihlalibaleka

IOL Sport

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