Brazilian flavor hits Cromer Park


The attacking midfielder, who first caught the eye as a youngster playing with Southern Districts as a diminutive teenager a decade ago, has long been touted as a player with special talent by astute football judges and the Telechoice Premier League will be his latest stage to perform on.
Lima has honed his skills the past four years through the American college system and couldn?t be better equipped to launch an assault on the competition.
?I headed over (to America) in 2004 with high expectations and looking back it was great for my football,? he said.
?I had been playing in Australia at a representative level since I was eleven and when the NSL finished it was an uncertain time and I didn?t know what to do.
?I had just broken into the Northern Spirit first team but I wasn?t going to wait forever when it came to being offered a contract in the A League.
?I saw America as an opportunity to get a degree and play soccer at the same time and it was fantastic, the level of professionalism was unbelievable.?
Widely known in soccer circles as ?KK?, Lima was recruited by N.C.A.A. Division 1 University Campbell on a sporting scholarship in 2004 before linking up with the Mobile Rams for three years where he achieved All American honours.
The communications graduate, who was invited to trial with Sporting Lisbon as a sixteen-year-old, was also offered a professional contract with Brazilian team S.E.R Caxias but elected to return down under and complete his schooling.
It was a decision he agonised over but he feels it was the right one.
?I could have thrown all my eggs in one basket and backed myself but I always knew having an education was important and the quality of life in Australian was another factor,? he said.
?At the time it was a wonderful opportunity but I don?t regret my decision, you never know what lies ahead.?
The desire to test himself against the best defenders was the catalyst behind him coming home once he graduated from College but he is only too aware at the obstacles that lay ahead.
?Even in my short time back I have noticed the game has changed in Australia,? he said.
?When I left Spirit to go to America I was nineteen and the game was in limbo.
?I have been watching highlights over the internet and family and friends have all raved to me about the standard of games.
?Like everyone I have goals but I am not looking too far ahead.
?Manly were good enough to offer me a trial and my first aim is to repay Phil Moss for the faith he has shown in me.
?The boys welcomed me from the outset and I can?t wait to play for them, they play great football and I would like to think I can make a contribution with them.
?My immediate focus is breaking into the team and winning silverware.?
-By Andrew Prentice