Ndumba Makeche leaves Malaysia to join Bali United

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Indonesian side Bali United FC have announced the signing of former Felda United FC and Sarawak forward, Ndumba Makeche.

According to the club, the Zambian-Australian player has been signed to a 10-month contract.

“I feel incredible. I’m very happy to have the opportunity to join Bali United. I can not wait to start my new adventure with the team. I want to contribute as best as I could in every game for Bali United,” said Ndumba following his contract signing ceremony, as quoted by the club website.

The 24-year old former Perth Glory player joined the Fighters in 2015, before moving to Sarawak at the end of the season. In the 2016 season, he became the Crocodiles’ top scorer in the Malaysia Super League, scoring nine goals.

Before arriving in Denpasar two weeks ago, the former A-League junior had already visited the Indonesian island three times on personal vacations.

Makeche has been staying in one of Kuta’s hotels, in view of the backpacking tourists walking along Jalan Legian, but says that recreation is the furthest thing from his mind. Turning 25 next month, the Zambian-born flyer admits that now is the time to establish himself as a front-line striker in Southeast Asia, after promising, yet sometimes inconsistent, spells in the Malaysia Super League.

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“I feel comfortable because I’ve been here as a tourist before, but it’s a totally different ball game because I’m here for work,” Makeche told ESPN FC.

“It’s a beautiful city so it’s a good place to play football, and that plays a part because you want to be happy and enjoy it. But I know that I’ve got to perform on the pitch and score goals for Bali United.”

Any thoughts of a smooth ride were dispelled earlier this week when he took part in bruising preseason friendly in sodden conditions against Pusamania Borneo. The match ended in a 0-0 draw, with Makeche still getting used to the different style of Indonesian football.

“Indonesian football is faster than Malaysian football, so it will be a good test for me,” he said.

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