Midfield magician

Santos FC under-18 captain Sakeen Domingo enjoys some street ball with brother Rayyaan.

He attended the South African under-17 two-day training camp in Johannesburg last month. That experience will be useful as his side fight for the league and Knockout Cup trophies.

A Grade 10 pupil at Star College, in Bridgetown, Domingo, was in superb form in their Cape District Football Association (CDFA) league match against Bridgetown FC, at the weekend. The holding midfielder assisted in the opening two goals in their 3-1 win, and said Bridgetown was no walk in the park.

“We played against a very physical team who did well to disrupt our play. But, once we settled in, we started to play our own game and began to move forward with some combination play. We caught them off guard on the counter and scored two goals in the first half. Then, they came out firing in the second half, forcing us to change our formation,” he said.

Last month, the youngster was part of the Western Province team which won the regional play-offs – where the Western Cape team was chosen. And, Domingo was vice-captain of last year’s Western Cape under-15 team, which won the national championships. There he was selected as one of 40 players who were called up to this year’s under-17 SA training camp. “There were about 100 players at the training camp and we were split into two groups. The one group was made up of new players, and the other from players like myself who were selected last year,” said Domingo.

“I was really excited when I got the call to attend the camp. Rubbing shoulders with some of the best young players in the county was great,” he said.

Sakeen played his first soccer match as a seven year old for Garlandale FC before he joined Santos.

“It was by chance that I joined Santos after my brother’s coach (Trevor Kramer) saw me playing. Now, I’m in my third season with Santos,” he said.

Kramer spotted the versatile midfielder while watching an inter-LFA match with Sakeen’s older brother Rayyaan, who was playing for Santos at the time. “I was playing for the district board team and my brother was standing next to his coach watching the game. The coach asked him who that midfielder was because he’s the best player on the field. Rayyaan told him that we were brothers, and next thing I knew, I was at Santos,” he said.

He’s not just good with a ball at his feet, but also with a bat in hand.

“My father (Wesaam) played table-tennis in his day and he introduced me to the sport, but it never stuck. He was an SA champion in 1991 and 1992. I remember playing in a table-tennis tournament once and I won it. I never played for a club, I just played for the school and would train at home,” he said.

Domingo said his side is still in the running for both the league and Knockout Cup. He said they are through to the quarter-final of the Knockout and in second position in the league behind Greenwood Athletic.