Lucas Panayi returns – Seychelles international speaks to FCV Academy
Lucas Panayi, a graduate of the FCV Academy, departed Borderville at the end of last season to join Belgian fifth division side Berg En Dal V.V.
The move, which came after a two-week placement with FCV to Belgium, has earned Panayi international recognition since. He’s gone on to be awarded caps for the Seychelles national side.
He was back at the Academy recently to talk to the current crop of aspiring footballers about his experiences at FCV, and since leaving.
“Pulling on the national shirt was surreal,” said Panayi, reflection on his first cap for his country.
“It’s an amazing feeling doing it for the first time. You don’t really realise what’s going on and before you know it, the game is over.
“My second game is the one I remember most, I felt like I was actually there for that one. It's an honour to represent your country, knowing that a nation is behind you.”
Panayi believes he made huge strides as both a footballer and a person at FCV Academy. The coaches made him realise the work that needed to be applied to make it as a professional, and it was his mindset that needed to change.
His two years at the Academy were successful ones, constantly a stand-out player, and one that could be relied upon in a variety of positions – although the latter is not something he was always fond of.
“You have to take advantage of these brilliant facilities,” he explained. “FCV makes you think about things you didn’t before; diet, sleep and mindset being the main ones.
“When I look at the current squad, I can see myself in some of them. We went through the same things. We’re only young, so you have a lot on your mind, and you worry. The fear of what is next can get in the way of what you need to focus on.
“The students need to remain focused on working hard and being dedicated to their passion.”
FCV Academy students are currently on a trip similar to Panayi's trip to Belgium, but this time they've headed to Sweden to spend time with professional teams Lindsdals IF and Kalmar FF.