FORMER AFC LEOPARDS GOALKEEPER STATES A MOVE AWAY FROM THE KENYAN PREMIER LEAGUE WAS WHAT HE NEEDED 

LUCAS INDECHE MADE A SILENT MOVE TO SOUTH SUDAN’S TOP TIER SIDE ATLABARA FC IN JANUARY THIS YEAR.

THE MOVE BROUGHT TO AN END HIS STINT IN KENYA WHERE HE HAD INITIALLY PLAYED FOR SONY SUGAR,  AND THEN AFC LEOPARDS, AND FORMER KENYAN PREMIER LEAGUE (KPL) SIDE THIKA UNITED, AMONG OTHERS.

THE CUSTODIAN SIGNED A TWO-YEAR CONTRACT AT THE JUBA-BASED SIDE.

“MY MOVE TO SOUTH SUDAN WAS EXCITING AND SCARY AT THE SAME TIME BECAUSE IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I WAS GOING TO PLAY OUTSIDE KENYA,” INDECHE TOLD GOAL.

“INITIALLY I DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT CONSIDERING I WAS NOT WITH MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS. HOWEVER, I WAS WELCOMED WELL AND SETTLED FAST. IT IS A MOVE I WANTED; FAR FROM DISTRACTIONS TO BRING MY CAREER BACK ON TRACK.”

SO HOW IS THE SOUTH SUDANESE LEAGUE COMPARED TO THE KPL?

“WELL, THIS LEAGUE IS DEVELOPING AS COMPARED TO THE KPL, BUT IT IS GROWING REALLY FAST,” THE 29-YEAR-OLD SAID.

“BUT IN TERMS OF ORGANIZATION, THE TWO LEAGUES ARE A WORLD APART; THE SOUTH SUDAN FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP IS MORE ORGANIZED. THE MANAGEMENT IS ON THE TOP LEVEL AND IT ALSO GIVES TEAMS AN EASY TIME TO CONCENTRATE ON THE PITCH.

“ALSO, THE CLUBS RESPECT CONTRACTS. I HAVE NOT HAD PROBLEMS REGARDING PAYMENTS; THEY PAY ON TIME AND MOTIVATE PLAYERS. IT IS ALSO SOMETHING WHICH MANY TEAMS IN THE KPL ARE STRUGGLING TO MEET.”

THE SHOT-STOPPER HAS BEEN THE PREFERRED CHOICE BETWEEN THE STICKS FOR HIS NEW SIDE AND BELIEVES HE IS GETTING HIS BEST FORM BACK,” HE CONTINUED.

“IN THE LAST SIX GAMES, I HAVE CONCEDED JUST THREE GOALS AND THE POSITIVE THING ABOUT IT IS THAT WE HAVE COLLECTED MAXIMUM POINTS. IT IS A GOOD THING ON MY SIDE BECAUSE MY FORM IS GOOD.

“TOO BAD COVID-19 HAPPENED AND THE LEAGUE ENDED ABRUPTLY, BY THE TIME WE WERE IN THE SECOND POSITION IN THE TOP TIER. WE COULD HAVE SUCCESSFULLY DEFENDED THE TITLE,” INDECHE CONCLUDED.

ATLABARA HAVE WON THE LEAGUE THREE TIMES, IN2013, 2015 AND 2019. LAST SEASON, THEY REPRESENTED THE COUNTRY IN THE CAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, BUT THEY WERE ELIMINATED IN THE PRELIMINARY ROUND BY EGYPTIAN GIANTS AL-AHLY.

AFTER FALLING 4-0 AT HOME, THE EAST AFRICA SIDE FELL 9-0 AWAY TO BOW OUT 13-0 ON AGGREGATE.