Big football dreams

2013-09-17 00:00

BEFORE the Maritzburg Cup kicked off, Haythorne Secondary School captain and striker Kellan Mackay and Ryan Moon of Maritzburg College decided to have a competition to see who would score the most goals.

Finishing with seven goals, Mackay was pipped by Moon, his strike partner for Woodlands FC, who finished as the tournament’s top scorer with eight goals.

However, Mackay, whose side was beaten on penalties in the final, would have the last laugh as he bagged the player of the tournament award.

But, for the 18-year-old matric pupil, the award was a hollow victory for him due to the disappointment of his team’s losing the final to Alexandra High School.

“We worked really hard to get there, and we felt that we could have won it,” he told The Witness.

The Manchester United-supporting Mackay has set very high goals for himself, and is confident that he will achieve them.

One of his dreams is to emulate his hero Benni McCarthy and win a Uefa Champions League medal, a feat that no other South African has managed to achieve.

Other players he looks up to are Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane, and global superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

And among his heroes is his father, Frans. It was watching his father play that made him want to play and excel in the sport of football, he said.

“I plan to carry on playing next year. I’m planning on studying sports management at Boston,” he said.

Mackay started playing football at the age of five, first turning out for the Glenville U6 side.

Playing primarily as a striker, he sometimes drops back and plays in midfield “depending on what the coach wants”.

“So far, my biggest achievement was winning the Easter Tournament and finishing as the top scorer two years ago.”

He also praised the influence his coach Peter Pietersen has had on his football.

“He always tells me to play my own game and to do the basics first before anything else,” he said.

“He has always motivated me to become a better player.”

After losing the final on Saturday, Pietersen told The Witness that Mackay was one of the players who stood out for his young side. Tomorrow, Mackay will attend trials being held by Maritzburg United as they look to get their U19 Colts team up and running.

NAME: Kellan Mackay

AGE: 18

HEIGHT: 1,74 m

AMBITION: To play in the Uefa Champions League one day

HONOURS: Midlands U17, 2012. KZN U19, 2013.

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