Meet Trinidad and Tobago midfielder, Keon Daniel, Mied? Legnica’s first roster addition for the upcoming season.
How did you end up here at Miedź?
KEON DANIEL: I found out from my manager that Miedź Legnica was interested in me. Things moved very quickly, and I boarded a plane and here I am.
People from Trinidad and Tobago may view Poland as a rather strange destination. What did you think when you first heard about the interest from Miedź Legnica?
KD: I thought it was a dream! When I started playing football as a kid, I dreamt of going to Europe. I have always been interested in European football, so when I learned of the offer to play in Europe, in Poland, I was very happy. I immediately knew that I wanted to give it a shot.
Did you know anything about Poland before coming to Legnica?
KD: Not much about the country, but for example, I really like Robert Lewandowski’s game, and one of my coaches in the MLS was Peter Nowak. Before coming to Legnica I did a little research on the Internet (laughs). Since I’ve been here I’ve spoken to a lot of people involved with the club, and I have learned that you have good ski jumpers in Poland (laughs). I play football, but I'm interested in many sports which I watch on TV. I immediately liked Legnica - it’s a little bigger than my island of Tobago, but the weather here is very similar.
It is not everyday that you get this type of heat in Poland.
KD: So it seems that I’ve brought this weather to Legnica (laughs). In my country, we have this weather throughout the year.
Have you heard about the Polish winter?
KD: I’ve heard that it is very cold, but during that time we get a break in the league. Before I went to the United States I had never seen snow live. There is a first time for everything in life (laughs). You can get used to anything, and I'm a person who never complains. For me, the most important thing is playing football and winning. I learned in the MLS that if you want to call yourself a professional, you must do everything to the best of your ability, do not complain, and set high goals for yourself. If you want to win, work hard and focus on your goals. Then there will be a chance to achieve them.
Did you watch the match between Miedź Legnica and Olimpia Grudziadz? How do you like Legnica team?
KD: I like Legnica’s style of play, and I think that it will not take me long to fit in. Overall, the game is a little different from the MLS. I cannot wait to play with Legnica. It seems to me that we have a very good and skillful football team. I also know that the team has a number of very experienced players, some of whom have represented the Polish national team. I can always learn something from those players.
You say that the game in Poland is different than in the MLS. What are the differences?
KD: I have not seen many Polish teams play, but from what I’ve seen so far, Polish football is more patient in its buildup. In addition, there is a lot more pressing in the game. As for the similarities, both stress on good physical conditioning and a high workrate.
What position suits you the best?
KD: I’m a central midfielder. In the national team I play behind the striker as an attacking midfielder. But in the MLS I adapted to being a defensive midfielder where you have much more defensive work to do. I can play both positions, depending on what the team needs.
You will not make your debut for Miedź Legnica until next season. What will you do until then?
KD: I will train and get to know the team better. I will also learn some of the language. I have already mastered a few basic words: Thank you, good morning, hello (laughs). I learn quickly, and all the people around me are very helpful. When it comes to communication with the guys from the team, I have no problems with that. Many of them know some degree of English. Besides, on the field we speak the language of football.
The FIFA World Cup in Brazil will be starting soon. Neither Poland nor Trinidad and Tobago is involved. Who are you rooting for?
KD: I’ve always been a fan of Brazil. I especially liked Rivaldo’s game, he was my favorite player. When I was growing up, I wanted to emulate him and play like him. As far as European clubs go, I really like Barcelona.