MICHAEL ADUBATO - Friday, August 5, 2011
New Yorker Devann Yao has landed on his feet in southern Belgium, signing this summer for Royal Boussu Dour Borinage of the country's second division.
The former Ipswich Town front man spoke to Yanks Abroad after a pre-season friendly about his journey to the French speaking side of Belgium.
"I met this guy Xavier (now his agent) and played a friendly in Belgium," Yao said. "He saw me play and told me that if I was interested that he could bring me to a second division team. From that conversation with him, I came to Boussu."
Having just returned from pre-season training camp in France, the young man impressed in a couple games before picking up a slight injury. He is however on the mend and put in a 20 minute shift.
"I pulled my hamstring while we were in France training. So I had a week off and just started training again."
Although he sees Belgium as a springboard that he hopes will re-ignite his career, Yao is ready to get down to business.
"I'm very optimistic (about being in Belgium). This is like a trampoline for my career. I just have to play a good season and hope people get to see me and from here on, go forward."
"Right now I'm just focusing on the beginning of the season and getting as many minutes as possible in the games and hopefully having a positive effect on the team."
Yao also has high hopes about the possibility of a successful season for his young team.
"I don't know if we're playing well enough for promotion but we're definitely playing top ten and will be trying to make the play-offs. You never know; we might have a surprise (for the league) if we all play well."
Boussu-Dour, who finished in fifth place last season and play their home games at the 2,000 seat Stade Robert Urbain, will open their campaign at home against KSV Roeselare on the 17th of August.