16 November 2020 ­– The impetus behind Fagrie Lakay’s superb performance at both club and currently at ongoing South Africa’s National Under-23 preparation camp is Saudi Arabia, has been driven by one thing. 

And that is, the Cape Town-born pacy midfielder wants to see himself in the final South Africa Under-23 squad that is to represent the nation at next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. 

Though having played in all SAFA junior national team structures (Under-17 and Under-20) and Bafana Bafana once before, Lakay is yet to represent his nation in a major football tournament such the AFCON, the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics Games. 

It is in these unrealized dreams that Lakay now plays like a man possessed each time he takes to the field, being a menace to the opposition’s defense and goal. He did exactly that in South Africa’s first friendly match against Saudi Arabia, providing an assist and scoring one in South Africa’s 3-2 defeat against the hosts.

For the stocky explosive midfielder, this is his way of saying to coach David Notoane that he is ready to serve the nation whenever called upon. 

Following their first friendly against Saudi Arabia, Notoane applauded Lakay for his fine showing on the night saying that he gave a superb performance for the team. 

Lakay stated that he is now more than determined to build on that performance when South Africa takes on the hosts again in their second friendly meeting tomorrow (17 November) at King Abdulaziz Sport City Stadium in Jeddah. 

That match will kick-off at 16h00 (SA time). 

“It feels great to be back in the national setup, I must be honest,” Lakay said. “There are a whole lot of players who would love to be here and I am truly grateful for this opportunity. I would like to thank coach David Notoane for giving the platform to showcase what I can offer to the team moving forward. 

“I have been in both the Under-17 and Under-20 setups, however, never got the opportunity to represent my nation at a major tournament because of injuries. I just want to continue working really hard and hopefully earn my place in the final Olympic squad. That is my dream.”

Meanwhile, Lakay stated he and his teammates are expecting another challenging tie in their second friendly meeting against Saudi Arabia Under-23 team, adding that they will do every in their power to push for a positive result this time around. 

“Saudi Arabia are a good side,” Lakay said. “They play a similar type of football as we do and so we are expecting a good fight from them in our second friendly meeting. We truly believe that we should have won our first friendly clash, however, that result is now all in the past. The lads are now highly motivated to push for a win this time around. We do not want to leave here without a win.”