DStv PremiershipLatest Soccer News

The Keagan Dolly story: The Westbury boy who dared to dream

Keagan Dolly is one of the noteworthy names in the South African top-flight football loved by many, let alone those who have no interest in the sport. Just a boy from Westbury who dared to dream.

The Johannesburg-born star, Dolly, is living his dream, having turned out for big teams like Mamelodi Sundowns, Montpellier in France, Ajax Cape Town, and now at Kaizer Chiefs.

Like any other football player, football has been like a religion to Dolly from a young age.

Since his childhood, the 30-year-old winger always dreamt of becoming a professional footballer, with his talent nurtured by his father, who was his coach.

Dolly started his football career at Westbury Arsenal, before moving to School of Excellence. He was later snapped by Sundowns to join their youth ranks. Following his stellar displays at Masandawana junior side, he caught the attention of Ajax Cape Town, whom he went on to sign with.

Motivated by his family and driven by his passion, Dolly went all in to break his boundaries and become one of the greatest footballers in the country.


“I started my football career at Westbury Arsenal. It was the very same team that Steven Pienaar also played for,” said Dolly. 

“We had a connection with Ajax Cape Town at the time because Steven went there. I remember one day the Ajax Cape Town team came to Bosmont. That’s where we were training and playing our games. 

“They [Ajax Cape Town] had this something where they invited kids from the Westbury Arsenal team. I got to meet people like Nathan Paulse when he was still very young. Also, Moeneeb Josephs and all the other people I used to look up to as well. 

“It made me realise that they’re also human and it’s attainable. It felt more real to me. It’s difficult when you see people on TV. It’s like when do I get there because you can’t interact with them.”

Dolly continued: “So, I remember I also had times like this where Steven Pienaar would come back from overseas, coming to see us at training at Arsenal Westbury. It gave me that sense to say that I could also get there because he was there next to me.

Keagan Dolly in action for Kaizer Chiefs.
Keagan Dolly in action for Kaizer Chiefs.


In this beautiful game, most footballers have their own idols and people who inspired them to achieve their ultimate goals.

Interestingly, Dolly has quite a list of notable footballers whom he idolised. Some of those names are former Bafana Bafana and Everton star Steven Pienaar, Doctor Khumalo, Jabu Mahlangu, and coach Arthur Zwane, just to mention a few. 

“My whole family were always Kaizer Chiefs supporters you know. So, back then when I was growing up it was the likes of Stanton Fredericks, coach Arthur Zwane, and Jabu Pule [now known as Jabu Mahlangu] at the time,” he added. 

“I remember when I used to play for Westbury Arsenal Under-8 and Under-9 I used to die my hair with different colours [just like how Jabu Pule used to do]. I had spots one time. You know, those are the people I used to look up to. 

“And of course, also Steven Pienaar because he’s from Westbury and went to School of Excellence and Ajax Cape Town. So, I always said that whatever he wanted to do in life, I wanted to do it as well.

“Luckily for me, I went to the School of Excellence and Ajax Cape Town. Obviously, I went to France and all of that.”

Dolly went on to give his father props for the role he made to support him from a young age to achieve his dreams. 

“But I also had people that motivated me. I think having my father in my life who was always in my case because he was my coach for like six years before I joined School of Excellence,” he revealed. 

“So, he never made it easy for me. Even if I was good at scoring three to four goals, he used to tell me I could be better. I think that was the structure that helped me a lot. 

“My father is now over 50 and he’s still playing. But I’m coaching him now. He works with the agency that looks after me. He also works with young boys, trying to [take] them from Westbury to into better teams and give them better opportunities. He’s still much involved in the community trying to help the youngsters.”


The former Sundowns man divulged that he’s still contemplating whether he would like to become a coach when he retires. 

“This is the conversation I always have with my wife. She’s always asking ‘Would you wanna stay in football one day?’

“One day you feel like yes, I wanna stay in football. And you think still travelling with the kids, you miss out on that cause you have to go to camp. But it’s something I’m really thinking about. Obviously, the love that I have for the sport will never leave.

“So, I think for the next few years I just want to focus on achieving a few things. Especially at the club winning a few more trophies. Then, I can start focusing on what happens next,” he explained.

Kaizer Chiefs winger Keagan Dolly in smiles.
Kaizer Chiefs winger Keagan Dolly in smiles

Dolly also touched on the issue of investing in youngsters from less fortunate areas. He believes that’s where the talents lie. 

He reckons that the reason he has been working hard in his life is because he wants to inspire kids from the disadvantaged areas. 

“I think it’s something good for the kids, you know, I have been there. So, I think everyone has to start somewhere,” he stated. 

“I remember being a youngster seeing the likes of Doctor Khumalo. It gave me that extra motivation because it was enriching. I felt like him sharing the field, training with us, and getting a pass from him felt more like it was attainable.

“If we could do a little bit more of these types of initiatives and invest more in teams local teams it will help the country in terms of our football and structure. Giving more motivation because I feel like sometimes we lack on that side.” 

The ex-Urban Warriors player continued: “If we really want to invest in our future, we need to go to places where it is a bit difficult to go to help these youngsters see that their dreams are attainable.

“The reason I have been working hard in my life is because I want to inspire kids like those [kids from less  fortunate areas] and people from Westbury where I come from.”

RELATED STORY: Ntseki gives injury update on Dolly, Chivaviro and Dove

Back to top button