Sundowns stalwart Anthony Laffor issues warning to those who have written him off

Anthony Laffor of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Maritzburg United at Loftus Stadium on January 16, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Anthony Laffor of Mamelodi Sundowns during the Absa Premiership match between Mamelodi Sundowns and Maritzburg United at Loftus Stadium on January 16, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Mamelodi Sundowns stalwart Anthony Laffor is chomping at the bit to get back into action after successful knee surgery.

The 35-year-old Liberia international was on the brink of stepping back onto the field when the coronavirus pandemic brought an abrupt halt to the season — and he is warning that those who have written him off should do so at their peril.

Laffor, who won two league titles with SuperSport United and four since joining Sundowns to jointly hold the South African record of championship medals, had an operation to fix the knee injury that plagued him for several seasons and limited his appearances on the pitch.

“I was offered a new two-year contract and at the same time we agreed with the club to go and fix the problem,” he told SowetanLIVE.

“I had the operation and my rehabilitation went very well. I was back training with the team just before this coronavirus started, just working on my fitness to try to catch up.

“It wasn’t easy when I started with the training because my teammates were running so fast — and a lot! The team was doing so well, and just getting up to speed in group training wasn’t easy, to be frank with you, but I think I’ve caught up.”

Laffor has not played since early March last year, when he started in the match against Lobi Stars of Nigeria in the group stage of the African Champions League, but says he has always been confident about his ability to get back into the team.

“I’ve always had that mindset that people must not forget about me,” he said.

“The guys are playing well at the moment, but if I stay fit I’ll get a chance — and when I do so, you know I’m going to make good use of it.”

The player admitted that sitting on the sidelines has been frustrating.

“Especially once I’d done my recovery, going into camp but then sitting on the stands watching the guys play, it was frustrating — but I’m happy that I’m OK now and looking forward to the league starting again,” he said.

Laffor’s contract with Sundowns will only run out in mid-2021 and he is not thinking about the next step just yet.

“While I’m still playing football, I’ve decided I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it,” he said.

“I remember when my last contact with Sundowns was coming to an end, people were asking me the same question. But if you take good care of yourself, you can last longer on the field, so that’s what I’m doing.

“If after next season I’m still able to run, then l hope to still play for Sundowns — or look to keep going at another club.”


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