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Offline Flex

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Prime time in Aktobe.
« on: July 29, 2011, 04:28:33 PM »
Prime time in Aktobe
By: Shaun Fuentes.


Putting on a San Juan Jabloteh shirt and running out on to the Hasely Crawford Stadium playing field was never anything other than a regular and normal occurrence for National footballer Robert Primus.

After all, he was at home and he was wearing the same colours as his teammates. And yes, the colour of the uniform was not the only thing similar among them.

Switch to some 7918 miles away. The city is Aktobe; the country is the Republic of  Kazakhstan. The population is 16.4 million.

Ethnically the country is as diverse, with the Kazakhs making up over half the population, the Russians comprising just over a quarter, and smaller minorities of Uzbeks, Koreans, Chechens and others accounting for the rest. 

Primus is one of very few black players campaigning in the Kazakhstan Premier League. And to top it off, he’s played almost every game for one of the top football clubs in the country. Call it a bit of black power if you want.

According to a recent report by FIFA, while the leagues of England, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain may still be the destinations of choice for footballers of African origin, an increasing number of them are plying their professional trade in other parts the world of football, able to earn a living from Albania to Yemen.

“In the space of some 25 years, this sporting Diaspora has gone from a small and elite trickle of talent to countries like France, Belgium and Portugal, to a vast exodus destined for almost every corner of the globe.

Even in the early 1990s, African footballers were exotic oddities even in the major leagues, but they are commonplace today - across almost all divisions.”

“The fall of the Iron Curtain opened new markets in Eastern Europe, and the idea that African footballers can make a living playing the game from Iceland across to Kazakhstan is now widely accepted and proven.”

Brazilian Roberto Carlos was on the wrong end of a banana hurled by a fan recently as he held the Russian flag while leading his club Zenit St. Petersburg in their first game of the season.  Naturally, there would be that fear that our boy Primus would find the going a little tough initially.

“It’s not been that difficult. Yes there are not a lot of black people around the place but the club and the players treat all of us equally. They are particularly good to me and so far the fans have welcomed me. And I haven’t faced anything out of the way from the supporters of the other teams,” Primus said.

He has a high appearance rate for his club, taking the field in 19 League appearances with one goal to his name. He’s also appeared in two Europa League matches and two Domestic Cup outings,according to his local handler Dion Sosa who follows the player with keen interest and is constantly in touch with him.

“We are on a good run and I’m enjoying it here so far. I’m playing regularly and I’m believing more in myself every week,” Primus added.

There’s that saying “you can find a Trini anywhere in the world” but Primus may just be that only “Trini” in Aktobe these days. And he’s certainly doing his best to spread the Trinidad and Tobago brand in what largely is a traditional, patriarchal society.

“They don’t know much about us. They know we played in the 2006 World Cup and they know Trinidad is an island in the Caribbean. They also know about Dwight Yorke and Russell Latapy,” Primus noted.

A couple months back a blast tore through a car outside a security service building in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, killing two people in the second such incident in the usually stable Central Asian nation in a week.

Initial reports attributed the blast to a suicide bomber but the ex-Soviet republic's interior ministry later played down the terror link.

The blast came just days after a suicide bombing outside the headquarters of the security service in Aktobe on May 17, which wounded three people including a member of the security services. That may be reason for some alarms.

“I feel safe. The people here at the club are taking good care of me and I’m allowed to focus on football and putting my best job out for the club.

The culture is different obviously to back home but it’s nothing I can’t live with,” said Primus who was a member of the T&T Team at the 2007 FIFA Under 17 World Cup and the Under 20 World Cup in 2009 in Egypt.

“Those two World Cups did a lot for my experience. But right now my main focus is playing every game and helping the club win the title and my bigger aim is to come back home and play for the national team and qualify for the next World Cup in Brazil.”

Certainly, Otto Pfister and everyone else like us will be hoping that all eligible persons are just as focused as the Aktobe defender.
The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Online Tallman

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 05:33:11 PM »




















The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline Cocorite

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2011, 06:21:25 PM »
Great!!! Thanks Tallman.

Glad to see these guys playing regularly against tougher competition than the ProLeague.

Of course, the Concacaf style of football is different; they will have to readjust when ther reassemble as a team and play friendlies against teams in this region.
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Offline masterblaster

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2011, 07:34:47 PM »
He should put his name as it is spelt on his Aktobe jersey, on his Trinidad jersey...LOL

Offline Socafan

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2011, 08:00:52 AM »
Big time player. Future TnT defensive star. MENTALLY STRONG. FOCUSED. Play yuh game Primus.
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Offline FireBrand

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2011, 08:34:33 AM »
Primus & Cyrus... our future fortress!
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Offline College

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2011, 10:11:10 AM »
Primus & Cyrus... our future fortress!

The future is now...

Offline King Deese

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2011, 04:15:55 PM »

Transformers more than meets the eyes.

Two words: Optimus Prime.
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Online Tallman

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2011, 12:10:24 PM »
What allyuh tink Primus want tuh say tuh de ref?

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Offline Bitter

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2011, 12:19:28 PM »
What allyuh tink Primus want tuh say tuh de ref?



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Offline Bakes

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2011, 01:07:25 PM »
What allyuh tink Primus want tuh say tuh de ref?



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Offline Dutty

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2011, 01:48:56 PM »
What allyuh tink Primus want tuh say tuh de ref?



"yuh 4kah go head and cut style ah go ketch yuh on de promenade dis evenin"
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Offline Ngozi

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Re: Prime time in Aktobe.
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2011, 05:57:57 AM »
What allyuh tink Primus want tuh say tuh de ref?


lol something about his many mothers in as much different languages as he could think of!!!