31 August 2018 – Reigning National Indoor League champions Young Natalians FC took the local Futsal industry by storm and raced to the title last season.
MySAFA managed to catch up with the Pietermaritzburg team’s 22 year old goalkeeper Kylen Pillay, who provided some key insights into his side’s success, the importance of a balanced lifestyle and goals for next season.
“It was a truly special feeling to win my first ever title with the team. Yes we tried to do the league and cup double but fell short. However, I am grateful for the success,” said Pillay.
When coaxed about Natalian’s secret to success, Pillay offered a variety of reasons.
“It comes to down to multiple factors. From intense training sessions to the relationships and chemistry that we have with each other. We are always socializing outside of the game and even join our coaching staff at social events, which really helps to break down barriers,” added Pillay.
The young shot-stopper also offered a bit of information on the planning and preparation aspects.
“Leading up to a season we like to focus on fitness levels and physically getting fit. However, when the league is up and running then we tend to lean towards tactics and how we can exploit the oppositions weaknesses. There is a lot that goes into this, particularly in terms of studying and educating ourselves about our opponent via notes and stats,” stated the keeper.
A vital point stressed by Pillay was the importance of tertiary studies and balancing this with work and the game.
“It can be a taxing and a difficult juggling act but we like to promote a balanced lifestyle. Football is important but so is education and we like promoting the ideal of these being done in conjunction with one another. Many of us have full time jobs and are also studying but our coach Gregory Nair and captain Simphiwe Mgedezi are understanding and also realize the importance of this type of balance,” enthused Pillay.
Pillay also touched on the healthy competition within the team in terms of competing for positions in the starting XI and how player’s being called up for national duty (the team currently has 5 national team stars) can disrupt preparations at times. However, he views overall proceedings as a positive and is looking forward to next season.
“We will be going all out for the double this time around and are working hard. We have the resources and talent to achieve this. We will simply take it one match at a time,” said Pillay.
Finally, the ambitious lad chatted about just how indoor soccer can benefit the game as a whole.
“Brazil, Portugal and Spain all breed their youth in Futsal leagues. It is here where skills are developed and honed. Hopefully we as a country take the development of the indoor game seriously as this will produce top young talents,” concluded Pillay.
With bright young stars such as Pillay on their roster, Natalians will be favourites to retain their title and possibly do the double as well this upcoming season.