Former AFC Leopards midfielder open up on memorable season in Belarus

© Dinamo Brest

FOOTBALL Former AFC Leopards midfielder open up on memorable season in Belarus

Festus Chuma 18:00 - 04.12.2023

Former Kenyan street boy Josphat Lopaga shines in Belarus debut season, defying odds with Dynamo Brest.

Kenya international Josphat Lopaga wrapped up his remarkable debut season in style with Belarusian side Dinamo Brest on Saturday.

Lopaga, who had a tumultuous journey from the streets of Nyahururu, Nakuru, and Nairobi, showed his mettle by netting a brace in a thrilling match against Belshina on Saturday.

The young midfielder, who had previously plied his trade with Gor Mahia Youth, Posta Rangers, and AFC Leopards, found himself on the streets after fleeing the bandit-infested region of Baragoi, where cattle rustling ran rampant.

From those difficult beginnings, he has risen to the international stage, becoming an inspirational figure not only for aspiring footballers but for everyone who dreams big.

Reflecting on his stellar debut season with Dinamo Brest, Lopaga expressed his satisfaction with the team's performance.

The club concluded the season in 10th place, securing 30 points through nine wins, three draws, and 16 losses.

In the season finale against Belshina, Lopaga netted twice, helping his team secure a thrilling victory.

"The game turned out to be good. I think our team was very well organized, with the exception of some mistakes caused by the field and the weather. This is my first time playing football in winter. It's great that we won at the end of the season. This is a good result for us," Lopaga told the club website.

When asked about the challenging field conditions in their last game against Smorgon, Lopaga remained positive, emphasizing his gratitude for the opportunity and the warm reception he has received at Dinamo Brest.

"I’m happy for myself, the team, and the fans. This is my first season at Dynamo Brest, where everyone received me very well. Everyone loves me: the fans, the coach, and other players. I really appreciate it," he added.

As the season comes to a close, Lopaga is eager to take some well-deserved rest during the vacation period.

Looking ahead, he remains optimistic about the future and the potential for improvement.

"The season is over, we will go on vacation. At least we'll reset our heads and maybe come back next season in stronger shape to show better results than this year," he concluded, leaving fans with high hopes for his continued success.

Lopaga, whose talent has already earned him spots in the Kenya U17 and U23 sides, is yet to make his full debut for Harambee Stars.

However, his impressive performances in Europe have put him on the radar for a potential call-up to Engin Firat's national squad, making his dream of representing his country at the highest level a real possibility. 

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