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Egypt exodus great for PSL and South African football

14:02 GMT 02/02/2022
Fagrie Lakay, Cape Town City, Augustt 2019
Fagrie Lakay became the latest individual from the PSL to make the move to the land of the Pharaohs after swapping Cape Town City for Pyramids FC

A growing number of South Africans have headed north to pursue their football careers in Egypt over the past couple of years.

Lakay of course joins former Mamelodi Sundowns pair, head coach Pitso Mosimane and Percy Tau, both at Al Ahly.

While the big European leagues - which attract the world's best and where a player can set himself up for life financially - surely remain the ultimate goal, Egyptian football can potentially serve as the perfect stepping stone for South African players who want to make it overseas.

While the PSL can be counted among the best in Africa, there's no doubting that Egyptian football is on a higher plane.

You just have to look at the trophy counts - Egyptian clubs have won the Caf Champions League 15 times (Al Ahly have 10 titles, Zamalek have five), while the national side have won the Africa Cup of Nations on seven occasions.

There must surely be plenty that South African footballers can learn from their northerly brothers.

It's to South African soccer players' credit that the Egyptians are increasingly casting their eyes to this country for recruits, and it's an opportunity which should be embraced.

Leaving the comfort zone of one's home surroundings can be tough, be it's one way to ensure growth and mental toughness and to take one's game to the next level.

The increasing interest from Egyptian clubs in South African players can only be of benefit, also bearing in mind that when a player leaves a PSL club for overseas, an opportunity opens up for another player back home.

It will be important though for Lakay, as well as Tau, to make a positive impact, because to date, South Africans have not been too successful in Egypt.

Before Tau and Lakay, the likes of Gift Links and Phakamani Mahlambi struggled to make their chances in Egypt count.

It’s perhaps thanks to Mosimane, who has been outstanding with Al Ahly, that doors are continuing to open, and these opportunities should be grabbed.

Another South African currently involved in Egyptian football is of course is Roger De Sa, the former Bafana Bafana international goalkeeper and ex-Orlando Pirates coach.

De Sa is assisting Carlos Queiroz at Afcon and the duo is one game away from reaching the final.