Keagan Dolly says he and his Kaizer Chiefs teammates will accord Mamelodi Sundowns all the respect they warrant as league champions, but that Amakhosi’s only priority this weekend is a good performance and maximum points against the Brazilians.
In addressing the media this week, Dolly downplayed the issue of whether Chiefs will give his former club Sundowns a guard of honour when they host them at FNB Stadium at 17h30 on Sunday evening, after Sundowns had wrapped up the DStv Premiership title.
“The guard of honour is not an issue for us as players. The office will handle that and we will listen to the office, at what they tell us to do, and as players we will do it. For us as players its not to focus on that, it’s to focus on the day and to try and do the best that we can to win the game,” said Dolly.
While Sundowns will naturally arrive at FNB in “good spirits” Dolly insists Chiefs will focus on their own game and on making it as difficult a night as possible for Sundowns.
“They’ve won the league. But for us it’s not to focus on Sundowns and what happens outside the field. It’s just to give a good performance and get the maximum points,” said Dolly.
He’s been a sprightly, impressive figure in a disappointing season for Amakhosi, but as always Dolly is prioritizing collective – rather than individual – achievement.
“The goal I scored against (Marumo) Gallants this week got a deflection off Khama (Billiat) and it went in. Sometimes you have to create your own luck. For me personally I don’t look at the stats, if I scored or if I assisted a goal, for me it’s about the team performance. If the team is doing well I always say the individuals will stand out. It’s about the team first, then afterwards I will start looking at improving myself,” said Dolly.
The winger said Chiefs finishing the season trophyless naturally rankles with him, but that he was positive about the future and challenged his teammates to lift their game for the remainder of the season and in looking ahead for the club.
“Obviously I came here knowing Chiefs is a big club, in South Africa and on the African continent. I grew up supporting the club and watching the coach (Arthur Zwane) winning trophies and winning league titles. With me knowing the history of the club I knew there was a high possibility of us winning and challenging for all trophies. We haven’t won anything this season. It’s always hard for me to accept that, because of the calibre of players we have and the team we have. Sometimes you sit back and reflect and ask yourself ‘am I doing enough as a player?’ But at the end of the day its not a one man show, it’s a team,” said Dolly.
He said he and the team were constructively critical of each other and conscious of when mistakes might have cost them important points, but that they are focused on the future.
“That’s football, we cant keep living in the past. We have to focus on the future and trying to give back to the club what they’ve given us as players. We really need to pull up our socks, come together as players and find ways to improve our performances. The last few games we have remaining we need to approach it with the same mentality that we had against Marumo. Chiefs want to play good football, we want to play entertaining football for our supporters. Sometimes, though, it’s not like that. We need to be able to notice sometimes when a game needs grit, fight and character. We showed that on Tuesday against Marumo. If we can continue developing that winning mentality, where we grind out results, we really can start competing for all those trophies,” said Dolly.