TRANSFER TALK: Friendship or Football?

Football can be cruel. Football can be heartbreaking. But worst of all, football can divide family and friends like Moses divided the sea. It can turn best friends into enemies for 90 minutes or it can unite people who have nothing else in common but their love for the world game.

On this occasion football may test the friendships and bonds formed over years of football and general leisure. Abdulkalik Kedir is a man in demand. Since his transformation from being an attacking midfielder in his younger days to becoming a center-back, the boy known simply as ‘AK’ has established himself as a solid center-back who also possesses distribution skills with the ball not often linked to a person playing in that position of the field. He put his goal scoring experience to the best possible use last summer in the Junior Final of ASFA 2015 scoring the penalty that gave his side Oromo FC the title. But will Kedir still be playing alongside his title-winning teammates when ASFA 2016 rolls around?

The captain of the defeated team that day was Kedir’s best friend and school football teammate Fasile Aden. Now it appears that Aden is trying to convince Kedir to leave Oromo FC and join Fitzroy Lions. Kedir’s solidity in defense could be just what the Lions need to go one step further than they did last time around.

The chase for ‘AK’ does not end there either. with FC Preston also in the hunt for a center-back, and Kedir is there primary target. A move to FC Preston would see Kedir go completely out of the ASFA picture, and would lessen his chances of achieving silverware for the second year running.

FC Preston, the team coached by Salim Mohammed, struggled in last season’s Somali Week tournament, failing to make it to the final of the tournament. This time around they have been divided into two teams, FC Preston competing in Somali Week and FC Preston competing in ASFA.

The two teams, the other coached by Abdulkadir Abdullahi, recently met in a friendly and Mohammed’s side looked shaky in defense. A lot of questions have been asked about their defense, one of them being, will their defensive enforcer Hamza Nur still be the same after a year out of the game? Nur did not play this winter season for his regular club Heidelberg Stars SC and may naturally not be match fit coming into the summer.

Mohammed’s team looked vulnerable again during this encounter, and a calamitous defensive error from center-back Abdulhayi Abdullahi did not do Mohammed any favors. The scores were level at 2-2 when the Mohammed’s keeper was chipped. Abdullahi was on the line and attempted to clear the ball but only managed to embarrassingly kick the ball into his own net. Perhaps it was a delayed Eid gift for his brother Abdulkadir, the manager of the other team.

Abdulkadir Kedir has a tough decision on his hands. Does he stay loyal to his team or does his loyalty to his best friend Fasile Aden become the overriding factor? Perhaps he would like a completely fresh challenge and join the talented youngsters at Preston FC and transform that team like he did his on field position.

More to come.

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