Daniel Tighe talks to Belgian striker Axel Bossekota as he looks to make his mark in Limerick.
Wandering Belgian frontman Axel Bossekota may have finally found a home for his talents and he already feels part of the family at his new club Limerick FC.
“Here it really feels like a family,” said Bossekota. “As soon as I got here the gaffer introduced me straight away to my team-mates. It was really good for me because when you come from another country, you tend to stay on your own and see how others do things but here I was picked straight away in the team.
The Belgian, 23, clearly feels he is finally in the right place to fulfil his potential and is comfortable in his new surroundings. He has signed on for one season but he is not viewing it as just another stop on the carousel that has been his career so far.
“I really like it (Limerick). I didn’t think it was big like this. It’s a nice city with nice people. Ireland, it’s ........ special,” he said.
“I really want to do my best here to help the team as I believe the possibilities are (endless). I’m really happy to be in Ireland and I hope that Limerick is going to be a big step for me.
He thinks the club has a chance to come under the radar and shock some of the Airtricity Premier Division’s more established teams.” The good points are that nobody knows us having come from the second division and we can surprise everyone.
“If we won the first game everybody would then need to take us seriously because we have a strong team and we have nothing to lose. I think the goal for the club this season is to stay in the Premier Division. I’m definitely sure we can go on the top and finish in the top four. The stadium is beautiful and I think it’s going to be a good season for everyone”
Bossekota is a versatille frontman who can play through the middle as well as from the wings. He is eager, however, to prove himself in his preferred position as the link man between midfield and the strikers.
Speaking about his best position Bossekota said: “Today, I would say behind the striker, because I’m a player who likes to play free so I can go anywhere. I prefer to play (withdrawn) so I can deliver a good ball.”
Bossekota has travelled the globe in search of appreciation for his footballing talent. Born in Versailles, home to the famed court of the French monarchy, in Paris, he soon moved with his family to Brussels in Belgium. The family were soon on the move again, this time to Montreal in Canada where they spent six years. Bossekota showing his natural talent for the game represented the Canadian national side at under 15 level.
He knew, however, that to make the most of his career in football, he needed to be in Europe. “For me football was important so I told my Mom I need to play in Europe, so we moved back to Belgium.”
Once back in Europe he joined the academy of French Ligue 2 side Amiens SC. Also at the academy with Bossekota were current Premier League player Steven N’Zonzi of Stoke City and French international Yann M’Vila. Of Rubin Kazan.
He left Amiens to join Oud-Heverlee Leuven, at the time a Belgian second division side.
“My first games as a professional were for Leuven in the Belgian second division and after this I had a little trip to AEP Paphos in Cyprus and then I moved to the UK (Motherwell).”
It was while in Scotland with Motherwell FC that Bossekota first met current Limerick FC manager, Stuart Taylor. He immediately got along with Taylor and the coach obviously took note of his talent. “That was the first time I met Stuart, he was the coach of an academy for players without a contract in Glasgow and after this I couldn’t go back to Belgium.”
Bossekota’s time in Scotland wasn’t the easiest and he wasn’t entirely comfortable with the Scottish way of life.
“It was good but a little hard. I was alone. They’re not like the Irish in Scotland, they’re more for themselves. I was never really introduced to the team in Motherwell.”
Now he is somewhere he feels wanted, this footballing nomad may be ready to settle down and produce his best football. At least this will be the hope of those who make the fortnightly pilgrimage to Thomond Park this season.