IN INTERVIEW WITH . . . Patson Daka
How he is enjoying his football in Austria . . .
“First of all it's a great opportunity for me to be here in Austria, it has always been my dream to play in Europe and having been given the chance by Red Bull to come and be a apart of them, it is a great privilege. I feel great and excited because they have given me this opportunity and I feel at home, everyone here is friendly with me, encouraging, loving and kind. I don't feel out of place and they make life easy for me.
I remember the time when I had first come, there is a Ghanaian player here called Gideon Mensah and when I came for my trials he told me what was expected of me, what to do and what not to do. Looking at the number of African players was a great motivation, I was always telling myself that if these people can come and stay here, what can stop me?"
The opportunity to play in the Europa League . . .
"it's very exciting because I had been watching the Europa League when I was back home and now that I am here, I didn't expect it to come this early. When I was at home in Zambia watching, it looked so big and I was thinking that it wouldn't come any time soon for me, I have a long way to go. Being given this chance to be a part of the team and to play in the Europa League is every player's dream. For me it's just about making sure that I work extra hard to fight my way into the first eleven. Everyone, every day, is putting in their very best and the coach has confidence in every player. When the opportunity comes, I just have to do my very best."
Whether Zambia can become a leading football nation for the continent . . .
"Very much so, we are heading in the right direction because we have concentrated on the youth and when the roots are strong, then of course the tree itself is going to be strong. We have got great talent in Zambia, we had a process whereby we lacked consistency and it was difficult to find other players who could come in and improve it. But I think now looking at the fact that we are bringing through young talent there will be no problem or us anymore to achieve greater things. Soon enough Zambia will be known as a great footballing nation."
Why he needs God in his life . . .
"God is the creator of the heavens and the earth, he created we humans in his own image. He told us to have dominion over the earth and in the scriptures it says let everything that has breath, praise the name of the Lord. So I see no reason why I shouldn't praise the name of the Lord, he is the reason why I am alive today and he is the giver of life. Scripture also says to seek first the kingdom of God and everything shall be added unto you. So if I speak for his graciousness and his kingdom then everything that I desire, I will have. I really need God more than anything."
Whether his faith makes him a better footballer . . .
"The way that I take it is, I don't pray to God because I want to win a game and want to score. I believe that God has given me the gift of preaching his word through this sport and so I have to use that gift to make known his word to the world. Many people are looking at me because of where I am right now but I want them to know what makes me be where I am, I know that God will keep on raising me to greater heights. He wants a lot of people to know about Him. I want to use my career to encourage people and when you have God in your life you have the ability and the courage to overcome life's trials and tribulations. With Him, everything is possible and he holds my future."