THE 2022/23 SEASON

© Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixAuthor: Dumisani KoyanaSince Lyle Lakay joined Mamelodi Sundowns from Cape Town City in 2018, the left-footed dynamo has become one of the most feared dead ball specialists in the DSTV Premiership.With an educated left foot, the Cape Town-born left back has cemented his place in the Bafana Ba Style defensive unit. On both ends of the pitch, Lakay’s customary runs down the flanks have endeared him into the hearts of supporters.

The 30-year-old defender believes his passion for the game stemmed from his football-loving family, “My entire household played and currently plays football. My grandfather, father, uncles, brother and cousins all love to play the game. It’s not hard to figure out where my inspiration for the sport came from.”
Last season, the Bafana Bafana international was a pivotal member of the Sundowns team that clinched a memorable domestic treble. Consequently, he was named the ‘Defender of the Season’ at the PSL awards, which stands as a testament to the player’s outstanding performance over the 2021/22 campaign.

“I always set myself a target at the beginning of the season which is to do better than the previous one. Last term, we were the best defensively and offensively in the league. The award caught me by surprise because centre-backs often dominate the ‘Best Defender’ category. Nevertheless, I am pleased with the accolade and the plan is to go again in the next season,” the left back declared.
Lakay’s attacking moves and most importantly, his ball striking abilities have become one of Bafana Ba Style’s potent weapons in recent times. His mastery of the ball seems to get better at each set-piece delivery and the Capetonian is willing to enhance his game even more.

“I am happy with my goal contributions over the years. The last two seasons have been wonderful in that regard. It all comes down to constant practice and studying more about how to deliver pinpoint free kicks.”
When asked about his idol, the set-piece wizard opted for the retired Daine Klate, “He is someone who has inspired me. When I was at the academy at Supersport United, he was in the first team and was rightfully the man for the big occasions with his left foot. I learned so much about crossing and set pieces from him.”
© Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixCelebrating a goal during the DStv Premiership 2021/2 match against Baroka FCFIVE FAST FACTS ABOUT LYLE LAKAY
1. Favourite dish?
Creamy Baked Mac and Cheese. Oh! and Sausages
2. Favourite sports to watch aside from football?
Formula One, Cricket, Baseball and Rugby
3. The toughest opponent played against?
Mohamed Ounajem from Wydad Casablanca
4. Advice to anyone who wants to know you better?
Be real, because I am a down-to-earth person
5. Proudest moment as a footballer?
Winning the PSL defender of the season. I will never forget it
© Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixLyle Lakay and Thabiso Kutumela before taking a free-kickOver the years, several footballing greats have shown immaculate judgement, vision and perfect technique when standing over a free kick. When executed right, a set piece is one of the most beautiful sights to behold on the football pitch. Thus, Lakay gives his five-a-side best set-piece takers ever.

“This is a very difficult question because I have numerous dead ball specialists who I have watched over the years. However, my top five are – Juninho Pernambucano, Juan Román Riquelme, Lionel Messi, Roberto Carlos and David Beckham.”
Lakay will be looking to build on his exciting performances last season which earned him plaudits from his teammates, coaches, supporters and commentators.
© Samuel Shivambu - BackpagePixDStv Premiership 2021/22 match against Supersport UnitedWith a willingness to keep practicing his set pieces, the Capetonian will be aiming to captivate the hearts of the Yellow Nation even more during the 2022/23 season.