Keagan Larenzo Dolly, born on 22 January 1993, is a South African professional football player who has made a name for himself as an attacking midfielder for Kaizer Chiefs in the Premier Soccer League and the South Africa national team. His exceptional performances led him to win the Premier Soccer League Young Player of the Season award for the 2013–14 season, establishing himself as a key player for Mamelodi Sundowns.
Early Career at Mamelodi Sundowns
Born in Johannesburg, Gauteng, Dolly’s football journey began at Westbury Arsenal. He later moved to School of Excellence where he was spotted by Mamelodi Sundowns. After impressing at their youth structures, he went on to sign with Ajax Cape Town.
Making a Name at Ajax Cape Town
Dolly completed a move to Ajax Cape Town, where he truly made a reputation for himself. During his spell at Ajax, he won the Premier Soccer League Young Player award for the 2013–14 season. This triggered Sundowns to buy him back from Ajax Cape Town for their 2014–15 season. However, due to many players occupying the same position as Keagan during that season, Sundowns opted to loan him back to Ajax to ensure he got more playing time.
Return and Success at Mamelodi Sundowns
Sundowns included Dolly in their squad for the 2015–16 campaign as they intended to bolster their team for the league and for the CAF champions league. Dolly with Sundows went on to win the league for the 2015–16 season, automatically qualifying them for the CAF champions league. Despite being eliminated by AS Vita Club in the third round of the Caf Champions league, Sundowns were reinstated to the competition due to AS Vita Club’s use of an ineligible player during preliminary matches. With outstanding performances from Dolly and the whole team, Sundowns went on to win the competition.
Contract Dispute with Mamelodi Sundowns
In November 2016, it was reported that Sundowns had taken their star midfielder to the DRC to contest a buyout clause of around €750,000 that was written into his contract, which was signed 17 months prior. Sundowns stated it was too low and argued that a mistake was made by them. They wanted it rectified to an amount around £1.5 million. Sundowns eventually won the case and updated the buyout clause to £1.5 million.
Move to Montpellier
On 26 January 2017, it was announced that Dolly had signed with Montpellier HSC. He left the club in summer 2021.
Joining Kaizer Chiefs
Dolly returned to South Africa in July 2021, joining Kaizer Chiefs.
Keagan Dolly played for the under-23s and represented his country during the 2015 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations tournament which was held in Senegal. The tournament acted as the CAF qualifiers for the Olympic football tournament, with South Africa qualifying as the third-place country. Dolly captained the South African side during the 2016 Summer Olympics men’s football tournament.
Dolly has scored several international goals for South Africa. On 4 June 2016 at Independence Stadium in Bakau, Gambia, he scored two goals leading South Africa to a 4-0 victory in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification.
Style of Play
Dolly primarily plays as either a winger or occasionally as an attacking midfielder. He often plays as a left-sided winger for both his club and country. His energetic pace and playmaking skills allow him to shoot with his stronger foot from this position. Despite his diminutive stature, the left-footed player is capable of occupying any position behind the forward line. His extreme pace and close control allow him to roam into pockets of space around the pitch, similar to Manchester United playmaker Juan Mata. Former South African playmaker Steven Pienaar has tipped Dolly to become one of the best exports that South Africa has ever produced.
Like Steven Pienaar, Dolly hails from Westbury, a largely coloured township in Johannesburg. He was educated at the prestigious Potchefstroom High School for Boys.
Dolly has received numerous honours throughout his career, both with his club and individually.
While playing for Mamelodi Sundowns, Dolly won the Telkom Knockout in 2015, the Premier Soccer League in 2015–16, and the CAF Champions League in 2016.
South Africa U23
With the South Africa U23 team, Dolly helped the team secure third place in the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations in 2015.
On an individual level, Dolly was named the PSL Young Player of the Season for 2013–14 and was included in the CAF Team of the Year.