Patson Daka talks Salzburg, Football and Family
Patson Daka is possibly the most promising discovery of the season so far. he has totally justified the faith coach Marco Rose has placed in him – truly shining with one goal and an assist already.
Our 19-year-old centre forward has – despite the demands of this demanding stage of the season – taken the time to speak to us in great detail about his childhood, his family, the German language, Salzburg as a home, his footballing development as well as his biggest successes so far and aims.
In a pretty entertaining interview, Patson was on good form with a smile always gracing his lips. This is simply because he is a person who loves life, as he told us:
I can sometimes get annoyed, but mostly I’m a fun-loving person. I’m always in a good mood. I love laughing and cracking jokes. I try to get rid of any thoughts of being anxious or sad. I really like being the good-humoured person in the group.
We conducted this conversation in English, incidentally. Patson does understand German really well, but still finds it tricky speaking himself and forming all those rigid German sentences, in particular.
I understand the instructions of the coaches without any problems. I understand quite a lot already when someone speaks German to me, but speaking myself is still a challenge. Putting a sentence together is still really tricky. When I talk to my team-mates, they often laugh at me as I can’t get the sentence together [laughs]. It’s getting better all the time though.
On the subject of his family, he explains to us that he is a total family person and that his family plays a very big role in his life.
“My family have always given me unbelievable support. It was always important for my parents that I go to school and learn. I did everything step-by-step as a result. I was able to combine school and football well and divide my time well always. My family had a really big part to play in that. If they hadn’t supported me like this, I wouldn’t be here today. I miss them, of course. I’m on the phone to them nearly every day though, which makes it easier.”
We wanted to know after that how happy he feels in his new base of Salzburg and what he does in his free time.
“I like Salzburg. It’s a great city. I just feel really happy here. There is nothing I have to worry about. Everyone is friendly to me and makes life easy. I feel almost at home here already. In my free time, I mostly stay at home and watch a film or something – I’m not a fan of going out. I spend most of my time with Enock Mwepu. To know there is someone I can speak to at any time is really valuable.”
In the second part of the interview, we spoke about football and about the start of his career.
“I can’t really remember how old I was when I started playing football anymore, but I was definitely very young. I played a lot on the street and later I joined a club. When I look back now, it all went by very quickly. It was still a long journey though with a lot of hurdles and challenges to overcome. Only a few people believed that I would eventually make the national team, and I had to take a lot of criticism along the way. I got through it though and kept on pursuing my aim. I’ve always said it’s my decision – whether I sink or swim is down to me. I have decided what I want to do and nothing can deter me from that. That’s just the way I am.”
He can still remember his start in Salzburg very clearly.
“When I came to Salzburg, it was already a big change for me. I didn’t know the language or the environment, and the weather was also something new for me. That is just part of it all, and I had to get by. The people here were amazing at welcoming me and made it as easy as possible to deal with every situation.”
But how did the initial contact with our club come about? Patson reflect on this too in our talk.
“It came about at the time I was least expecting it. I always dreamed though of making the leap to play abroad, and I was really nervous in my first talks. That it worked out in the end was just fantastic.”
In the last part of the interview we asked our young Zambian if he would also make the same decision today to join our club.
“FC Red Bull Salzburg is the best club for taking your first step in professional football. There was a perfect platform offered for me from my first day to further develop. I love the philosophy here.”
Even if Patson has just been with our club for a year and a half, he has already celebrated some great successes. He says on these:
My biggest success so far was winning the UEFA Youth League, I would say. That gave me the opportunity for the first time to make it to the first team. Who knows if I would have been here if I hadn’t performed as I had in the Youth League matches. The feeling in scoring my first goal in the Austrian Bundesliga [the opening goal against FK Austria Vienna] was also indescribable, of course. I will always be able to remember the goal. The joy I felt can’t be summed up in words – it was just so incredible.
Last but not least we want to know what aims he has for this season.
“I have a lot to improve. My aim this season is therefore developing further and giving my all to help the team as much as I can. I am hoping to play as much as possible, of course.”
Original version of the article : https://www.redbullsalzburg.at/en/fc-red-bull-salzburg/news/saison_2018_19/whether-I-sink-or-swim-is-down-to-me.html
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