I chose CT City because i wanted to work with Benni

Gift Links has been one of Mzansi’s precious find, he first burst into the professional scene in 2017 after spending almost seven years in the youth structures of Platinum Stars. The twenty-one-year-old was scouted by Cavin Johnson in 2011, who eventually promoted him to the first team. Having been promoted to the senior squad, Links had to balance football commitments and life as a matriculant. It’s a sign that the youngster is a well-groomed individual.

The Vryburg born speedster quickly grabbed the attention of the Mzansi football lovers as he broke into the Absa Premiership as a teenager and also proving his mentor right as to why he promoted him to the first team.

“It was a Thursday, I still remember, that’s the day coach Cavin came to me at training and he told me that, in the upcoming game I am going to play. I came on as a substitute and I did very well in my first game and I was ready to push more game time”

The speedy winger first made the eighteen man squad in the Absa Premiership against Chippa United but had to wait for four months before he could have his first professional debut match and it came when Dikwena faced Bakgaga, he came on for Abia Nale.

The South African football lovers were just getting used to the winger entertaining them at Royal Bafokeng Stadium and the rest of the country, and then he quickly changed packed his bags for the land of the Pharaohs and the pyramids. He joined  Pyramid FC in the Egyptian Premier League along with his former teammate at Stars Benson Shilongo.

“Life in Egypt was great and I enjoyed it, the football side of things they are more physical but in order for me to get my way around them, I had to use my pace as you know I am very pacey. it was a great stepping stone in my football career as I wanted to improve as a player. The only thing that was an issue for me was the language there as the majority speaks Arabic and for me, it was a battle but other than that I loved every minute”

Administration changes at Pyramid FC meant that Links’ return to the club was in jeopardy, the Egyptian side went through some ownership changes during 2018 and that meant that the Amaglug-glug youngster had to call it quits and head back home.

“I just came back home after the season, I got a call up to the Bafana Bafana Cosafa Cup by Coach Stuart Baxter and my agent told me that there is some stuff happening in Egypt so I must relax after the tournament for two weeks. I told him that I am not prepared to sit at home and do nothing I just want to play soccer. A few days later he told me that there are offers and I chose Cape Town City. I had offers from big teams but I wanted to work with the legendary Benni McCarthy and I went on to win a cup under him, which was my very first trophy. I’m grateful for the role that Coach Benni played in my time under him. He always told me that I must play my game as if its the last one I will ever play”

 

After thirty-five Absa Premiership appearances, five goals and an MTN 8 trophy for the Citizens, Links bid the Cape Town-based outfit bye for greener pastures in Europe as he signed for AGF Aarhus in the Danish Superliga. With the year being an Olympic one, the national under twenty-three coach David Notoane will be hoping to have Gift Links in his final travelling squad as he missed him when the side was participating in the U/23 Afcon.

 

Author: Dumisani Koyana

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