Monday, January 16

Sven set to dazzle this season

Ligi Ndogo’s second year striker Sven Yida Lusigi canters onto the soccer pitch ready to tackle the day’s regimen.It has been tough,given the rigors of preseason practise.

Already three weeks onto the preseason and the lean athletic look of cultured muscles is beginning to show in his thin frame.

Standing six feet and weighing in at sixty eight kilograms, Sven is one of the players who have risen from  the lower ranks in the Ligi Ndogo feeder system, and is now poised at the apex of most players’ development aegis: graduation into a senior program. And he has enjoyed every single detail of his travail.
His journey started as a ten year old playing
tournament games under Ligi Ndogo's coach Evans Ogutu and Papi Yoga.Evans instilled the skill and

individual discipline,Papi guided him mentally and spiritually,often taking the players through lengthy pep talks aimed at instilling resilience,given the use-and-discard nature of the sport. The team included notables such as Albert Obiero and Chris Lubulu who are pursuing soccer careers in the United Kingdom, Vitus Mensah in France and Edgar Otieno who was a Gor Mahia trialist.
Sven has an uncanny running gait,it almost translates into a limp as his steps repel from the ground. All this changes the moment his feet meet the ball. He is quick,skilled and is gifted with nifty feet and a quick foot eye co-ordination.He has never missed a practice session.Coach Evans described him as an iron man,Papi was amazed at his wide array of moves,and Sven is still perplexed at his journey.
He featured for Interpid International,a Ligi Ndogo sponsored team and feeder organization and quickly graduated into the Ligi Ndogo U16 team.The team participated in the Punjab league. Given the irregular nature of the league, he soon moved up a scale to U19, but was gone in a flash after he was invited to try out for the senior team.His move coincided with the arrival of German and former City Stars' coach,Oliver Paige.Oliver has seen them all and given his liberal ways accorded everyone equal opportunity; not mentioning that he was saved the blushed of getting the freshman treatment,and naturally riding the pine!
His game though,spoke too loud and he found himself  one of the coach’s favorites.Oliver considered  him a listener, one of the rare attributes in these ranks.He was also endeared by his grit.He was never scared at hustling dicey balls.Coach took that to note.He highlights this as it tremendously improved his self-assuredness.
He was soon a regular. When the preseason matches started,he knew he was worthy of the team,but was truly surprised when he was given a starting role at midfield.And when Oliver left and coach Ibrahim Mbikalo picked up,the trend did not falter.Ibrahim gave him a chance,and among seasoned regulars he continued to prove his worth.

Enter Coach Mike Kamure and nothing changed.He was fully fixated as a regular, he was fully blossomed.

It was little wonder that he featured highly in every match in the 'Road to ‘Premier' as Ligi Ndogo chased a spot in the national league.And he won't cease to remind us of his joy,when he came in as a substitute during the Nyahururu match,and registered as a scorer after only thirty eight seconds.

Of note is his unquestionable focus.Sven passively acknowledges praise,but is steadfast in the reality of impending greatness.He wants to one day play big but does not dream of a hurried spotlight.He knows there is work to be done and is nimbly taking his steps,as the quest is renewed afresh this year; the reticent sixteen year old is in the game,fully prepared to pick up where he left last season. Sven Bio  (Archives)