Davids hopes to catch Santana’s eye

2008-10-14 00:00

FADLU Davids is hoping that if he can continue scoring goals in the Premier Soccer League, then he can catch the eye of the national team selectors.

The Maritzburg United striker, whose 16 goals in the First Division last season were instrumental in the team winning promotion, has carried his form into the PSL with two goals in four games.

Davids hopes to add to those goals to attract the attention of Joel Santana and his Bafana Bafana coaching staff.

“It’s every player’s dream to play for their country and I’m no different,” Davids said. “If I keep my head down, keep working and keep scoring goals I am sure I can get a call-up.”

Davids seems to be just the sort of striker goal-shy Bafana need. The national team have had no problems creating chances in the last year, but the finishing has been woeful.

Davids is not very fast, but fast enough; he is not particularly large, but plays the physical game and can get stuck in. He seldom scores long-range goals, but is a deadly finisher in and around the six-yard box, both in the air and with his feet.

“That is my strength — my finishing,” he says. “And that has been a problem for the national team. A striker is only as good as the service he gets and this season, and last season in the first division, the service has been fantastic.”

Davids said United coach Gordon Igesund “has instilled it in the players to get wide and get in quality crosses, which makes it easy for the strikers”.

After a year-and-a-half not scoring at defence-minded Silver Stars (now Platinum Stars), Davids unsuccessfully fought relegation with United two seasons ago and stuck with the team in the NFD.

This season he is enjoying being surrounded by a quality squad who play solid, attacking football, and United are unbeaten in four games.

“A lot of the credit must go to the coach. Tactically, in each game, a lot of attention goes to the opposition — how they’re going to play, what we’re going to do, what we do if we go a goal down,” Davids said.

“At half-time there’s no shouting, just telling us what to do, and so far we have been coming out stronger in the second half.

“The team spirit and that winning mentality is rubbing off on the players. I’m excited for the rest of the season.”

The striker has been made room-mates with Ivorian Brice Aka, with whom he has formed an intimidating partnership up-front.

“I get along well with him off the field. We are room-mates when we play away — since we have been scoring we said we’re not changing that,” Davids joked.

“He’s a good guy and we complement each other well and we’re both hard workers. We make runs for each other and are both hungry for goals. Surprisingly we’ve clicked in just four games, and it can only get better.”

If the striker continues at a goal every two games, that would yield a healthy return of 15 league goals this season.

“I don’t want to disclose my target in the media,” Davids says. “I do have one, but more important is the team. If we can win the league and I don’t score as much as I’d like, that would be good.”

United next play Free State Stars away in the Telkom Knockout on October 25, the cup competition in which Davids won a winner’s medal with Stars in 2006.

“When United were fighting relegation we would put a second-string team into the cups. Now we can actually try to win one,” Davids said.

“The Telkom is a big chance because it’s four games to win the trophy.

“We’re putting our minds on Free State Stars, and perhaps before December we can have some silverware.”

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