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Redemption show

Fiji Fa Media
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

FOUR years is a long time to wait for a chance at redemption.

This year's OFC Champions League gave Lautoka striker Samuela Drudru a chance to put behind him a moment of immaturity that left him suspended and an opponent badly injured.

Making his Oceania Champions League debut for Nadi in the 2014 edition of Oceania's top club competition, Drudru was suspended in their first group game after committing a horror tackle on Angel Berlanga that left the Auckland City FC player with a broken leg and facing a long spell on the sidelines.

A red card and a two-match suspension was punishment enough for the striker but he said watching a fellow player stretchered off the field only added to his regret.

The Fijian marksman said he did not deliberately mean to hurt the opponent but his immaturity at the time led to a loss of concentration," Drudru said.

"I really didn't mean to go that harsh as I went to the ball to tackle but I collided with his ankle," Drudru said.

"I always regret that incident back in 2014 when I first played in the Oceania Champions League but I have left it behind and moved forward now."

'But it taught me a great lesson," Drudru said.

"Well I am back with a mission now and would like to gain something from this championship."

Drudru said playing in the OFC Champions League was very different from playing at home.

"Here the level of competition is very high and very competitive. We need to be very smart and cool in playing some top clubs," Drudru said.

Back in 2010, Drudru was one of the best strikers in Fiji —— scoring the lion's share of the goals for his Suva team before switching to Nadi and then to Lautoka.

He said this year he had an aim to do his best for the Lautoka club.

"I want to prove myself this year and would like to see my team qualify for the quarter-finals," Drudru said.

Drudru had a hand in Lautoka's first goal against Madang FC on Sunday when he neatly walked into the penalty box beating the Madang defence and crossing the ball to Benjamin Totori who scored the opener for the Blues.

The Nadroga native was the hero for the Kamal Swamy-coached side when they defeated Venus FC of Tahiti 2-0 in the second Group C fixture. The double second half goal gave Lautoka a spot in the quarter-finals of the championship.

Drudru said he was confident of scoring the goals for Blues.

"I was very much determined to score the goal and give back to my hardworking officials and teammates what they deserved.

"I must thank the Almighty for blessing his showers upon me and guiding me."

Drudru was happy to feature again against Auckland City in their last pool match.

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