It was while staying in Kollege residence in 2013 that Faasen, who has always loved football, decided to give football another try. He only played goalkeeper for the Kollege res side because they were short a player in that position. During the season he was spotted by University Sports South Africa (USSA) scouts and after attending a trial with the USSA squad (better known as the Varsity Cup football side), he was asked to play for them. After six months of training with the USSA squad, Faasen was called up to the first team earlier this year by Steve Barker, the head coach of AmaTuks.

Perdeby had the opportunity to chat to Faasen.

You have always been interested in cricket. How did the change from cricket to football come about?
Straight after school I was invited to the national academy to play cricket. That lasted six months in my first gap year before studying and then I played two full seasons of cricket with Tuks and then realised that cricket wasn’t for me and that I wasn’t going to go as far as I thought I would. In my second season of cricket I started playing res football where the USSA coach asked me to come for trials and from there I played for about six months when Steve Barker, the AmaTuks coach, saw me and invited me for a trial. And the last two to three months I’ve been training with the AmaTuks squad and about six weeks ago I was offered a contract as a training player, which I took. So, no more cricket for me anymore and I will just be focusing on football.

What does it feel like to be living your dream of playing professional football?
It’s definitely been a whirlwind [for the] last three months from playing cricket and not having football on my mind. It’s definitely been a massive step. The last two or three months have been absolutely amazing. I’ve really enjoyed it, it’s really professional and all the guys take it very seriously and just to be part of a professional atmosphere at AmaTuks has really been a new and exciting experience for me and I’m really loving it.

How do you balance playing professional football and being a student?
While I was playing cricket I realised that studying and playing sport really is quite difficult to manage. So now with the contract I’ve decided to drop two of my subjects so I’m just taking three of the five and I’m going to do my degree over four years and hopefully do honours afterwards. So, hopefully, I can retain my contract with Tuks while studying.

Have you always been a goalkeeper? How did you choose the position?
I actually played as a defender at school for a bit, but growing up I always looked up to Joe Hart [the Manchester City keeper]. He is someone I really idolised and then in my res team they needed a keeper to play and because I was really passionate about the game I decide to play keeper that night and from there things just really worked out for me.

Where do you see yourself in the future?
Right now I’m just really enjoying being able to train with a professional team. My contract lasts until December and from there we’ll see how things go, but right now I’m just looking toward the present and really enjoying the moment and taking it one step at a time.

Which Barclays Premier League team do you support and why?
I support West Ham. I’ve supported West Ham since I was a kid. My dad is a die-hard supporter and when I started supporting them they actually were quite good with players like Lampard, Joe Cole and Paulo Di Canio but unfortunately they haven’t been playing that well recently but I will always be a die-hard supporter.


Image provided.

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