It’s been a great year for former SuperSport United striker Darren Smith in Finland and he has been rewarded with a well-deserved league top goal scorer award in the Finnish second division.
After falling out of favour at the Tshwane-based side Smith took a gamble that has paid off as he looks into 2021 with enthusiasm, confidence and joy after a remarkable 2019/20 campaign with Ykkonen side Ekenas IF.
The 24-year-old played 27 games in all competitions and scored 21 goals for Ekenas.
In League games only, he made 22 appearances and scored 18 goals, which made him the outright top scorer with Aalto Musa the closest to him with 14 goals. Ekenas also had their best finish in the past 5 years in the league finishing 4th thanks to the scoring prowess of the Cape Town-born striker. He also had four assists.
Meanwhile, former AmaZulu defender-cum-midfielder Ayabulela Konqobe also had a good season in the attacking midfield role for Ekenas having scored 6 goals in the 22 starts he made for the Finnish club since moving from Steenberg United last season.
It remains to be seen where the South African duo will be playing their football next season, but with such a good season and good numbers they won’t struggle for suitors in Finland, South Africa and across Europe. At the age of 24 they are both still a few years from reaching their maximum powers so anything is possible moving forward. It’s amazing what a change of environment and getting out of your comfort zone can do for a player – Darren Smith is a prime example of taking such decisions.
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By Prince Sobayeni