FARPost caught up with South African teenager Akiel Raffie who has been silently going through the ranks at English League One side Fleetwood Town over the years.
The 17-year-old central midfielder who was born in Australia to South African parents believes he is on the right track at Fleetwood who just lost out on a chance on promotion after losing to Wycombe in the promotion play offs recently.
Raffie feels he is heading in the right direction so far.
“The main focus for me right now is to make sure that I’m in the best physical shape possible, train hard and perform week in and week, so hopefully the gaffer sees something he likes. Regarding when I make my debut isn’t my decision at the end of the day I just have to focus on representing the club and carry myself well on and off the pitch because at the end of the day everything will take care of itself,” he said.
Raffie also spoke about his delight at finding out that people back home in South Africa know about him and that hopefully he represents his country soon.
“For me it would be a dream come true to be selected for an international squad as it reflects the commitment and work I’m putting in at club level. Obviously it’s a proud moment for any player to put on the international jersey – but to get there I have to perform for Fleetwood and that is my main focus first for the new season,” said Raffie.
Asked about his best attributes as a player the midfielder who can play as a 6, 8 and 10 on the pitch excitedly answered, “I’m a quick and strong all round midfielder. My best attributes on the ball would be my passing over long and short distances, breaking lines with passes and off the ball my best attributes would be tackling and being hard to play against. I also think I’m a good organiser and my communication skills are also good so yeah I try to have all the attributes needed for a midfielder you know,” he concluded.
Akiel has a younger brother 12-year-old striker Reyaan Raffie who is currently going through the ranks at English outfit Manchester City and is dubbed to be a great prospect for the future with his goal scoring abilities.
Both players are yet to represent either Australia or South Africa at any level, although Raffie was part of the Australian U17 World Cup squad last year he eventually didn’t go to the tournament due to injury.
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By Prince Sobayeni