Start it up - Damion Lowe adjusting well to life in Norway
Following his debut in the Norwegian First Division, Reggae Boyz defender Damion Lowe shared his experience playing at his new club, IK Start and is hoping to continue contributing towards their push for promotion to the top tier Eliteserien.
The 24-year-old, who really started to force attention this year with his performances with the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the United Soccer League, added that he is not surprised that he is already playing in Europe and is looking to build on the inspiration of his father - former Reggae Boyz standout, Onandi.
"I am not surprised at all," Lowe told The Gleaner. "I've always had my eyes on playing in Europe. I've worked hard to get here and it attracted interest and I gladly took the offer."
"I was only surprised about how quickly the process went and I was in the field training with my new team in less than a week," added Lowe, whose move was announced in the middle of August.
Lowe, played 89 minutes in his team's 2-2 home draw with first placed team, Bodo/Glimt last Tuesday, this after sitting on the bench in another 2-2 home result against Tromsladen UIL.
The match against Bodo/Glimdt brought a bittersweet experience for the young defender, who received a second yellow just before the end of regulation time meaning he had to sit out yesterday 2-1 loss to 14th placed Fredrikstad on the road.
"Life at Start has been good so far, I've settled well," said Lowe from Norway. "I am just here still working on getting used to our system of play and also the individual playing style of my teammates."
"They (teammates) have welcomed me with both arms. They believe in me, and I'm grateful. They helped me to get situated and also help me to get used to the playing (style). I feel like I've been here all year because of how together we are as a group."
With five games remaining in the season and the top two teams securing spots to the top flight, Start, currently sit in second position in the table, eight points behind the leaders and importantly, three points ahead of third placed Ranheim.
Meanwhile, Lowe described his father as a daily source of motivation and credited increased trust from his coach at the Tampa Bay Rowdies as a key factor in his improvements.
"He's (Onandi) an inspiration to me on a whole. The greatness that I've seen and heard about is a one of a kind. He's a true legend in my eyes and (in the eyes of) many. We talk everyday, so advice from father to son is natural. He calls me at 3 a.m. in the mornings to check in on me; that's just the relationship we have. But most of all, he tells me to shut out the noise around me and focus on being the best I can be," Lowe shared.
"In everything, experience and exposure with quality minutes go a long way and once a player can gain these things, he can go very far with his career," he added
"I just needed a coach to believe in me and my potential. I was coming off a long term injury and I needed minutes. I was a bit behind everyone and only playing time could help as I was practising well. I got the opportunity to get minutes with Sounders 2 then a full year with Minnesota, and I grew into my full potential, which carried over into the national team and Tampa."