Mvela Golden League striking sensation Fadlu Davids has been a key figure in the highly successful campaign Cape Town first division side Vasco da Gama have enjoyed this season.
Davids may be striking fear into the hearts of opposing defenders at present, but at the beginning of the season things didn't look so rosy for Davids as hr faced uncertainty to where he would be playing his soccer - his former team, Avendale Athletico, was involved in selling their franchise to second division side Steenberg United, which lead to Davids joining up with the newly-promoted Vasco Da Gama.
However, on his arrival at Vasco, matters took another twist when the Parow side's major shareholder decided to sell the club's franchise to a Johannesburg-based black empowerment company.
But fortunately for Cape soccer, this deal never went through as Vasco, which has its roots entrenched in the local Portuguese community, formed a consortium to make sure that it was not sold off, finally enabling Davids to concentrate on doing his job on the pitch, which he has done in some style.
The 23-year-old marksman, along with the rest of his team-mates, have flourished under the guidance of former Hellenic legend Carlos Das Neves, and the team has surprised all by consistently remaining in the top five of the highly-competitive Mvela league this season.
At present the Cape side, who are situated right next to Ajax Cape Town's Ikamva training facilities, occupy third position on the league table and are well set to qualify for the promotion play-offs at the end of the season, thanks in no small part to the superb form Davids has shown in front of goal this season.
Davids' knack of hitting the back of the net on a regular basis has seen him climb to second on the Mvela scoring charts, alongside Jacky Ledwaba of Zulu Royals.
Top scorer Lerato Chabangu of the University of Pretoria has since departed for Mamelodi Sundowns, leaving Davids and Ledwaba, last season's top goal-scorer in the PSL, to battle it out for top honours.
SASoccer365's Anthony McLennan caught up with the deadly striker to chat about how the season has been going so far, and what the future holds for him...
Anthony McLennan (A.M): Vasco have been having a fantastic season, the team have risen up out of the amateur ranks and have caught many of the other Mvela sides off guard with some excellent performances - to what can you attribute this success?
Fadlu Davids (F.D): Yes, I'm very happy that the team is doing so well. I think it is mainly down to our excellent team spirit - all the players play for each other - and of course, our coach Carlo Das Neves, who is world class.
The team is run very professionally, which keeps everyone happy. I have found the team to be as professional, if not more, than PSL teams like Manning Rangers and Santos, with whom I have spent some time in the past. We are also a community-based club, which means we have a great support base, and this increases the spirit in the team.
You have obviously been the one grabbing the headlines for your goal-scoring feats, but are there any of your team-mates which you would single out as having stood out during the season so far.
F.D: To be honest, the whole team is playing well and credit must be given to everybody. However, if i had to choose one player, it would be midfielder Keenan Leesch, my former team-mate at Avendale. We have played together for many years, from the U-16 and U-20 ranks, and we were also together at Cape Town Spurs juniors, so we have a great understanding. Keenan has been in brilliant form, and has contributed with a fair number of goals from midfield.
A.M: You are only 23, so there is still plenty of time for you to make your mark on the Beautiful game. What are your immediate, and long term ambitions?
F.D: Winning promotion with Vasco is my number one objective. I had a few good offers from PSL teams recently, including Silver Stars, but I feel that a move now would break both the rhythm of myself and the team. I really want to play in the Premiership with Vasco, but if this does not happen then I would consider a move away from Cape Town. Like most players, my dream would of course be to move to Europe.
I spent one season in Bulgaria when I was 19, which gave me a taste. My manager from that time recently contacted me again, so thats something I am also considering.
A.M: You also had a highly successful season with Avendale in the former Coastal First Division. How are you finding the standard of the new Mvela league?
F.D: Its much tougher, there are no easy games. There are no matches when you can say 'here are three points'. The standard is much higher and all matches are extremely competitive. Unlike in previous seasons, the refereeing has also been on a very high standard. In previous years the cheating has been so blatant, but so far this has not been the case, although the real test will come now that the end of the season is near and teams are getting desperate for points.
A.M: Are you confident of reaching the playoffs and even wining promotion?
F.D: Yes, we are well placed at the moment, but need to concentrate for the last seven or so games. Next week we have a massive clash against league leaders Free State Stars, and after that match we will know exactly where we stand.
A.M: Thanks for your time Fadlu, and we hope to see you in the PSL next season.
F.D: Sure, I hope so too!