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New recruit Jordan Botaka speaks out on his troubled path to Leeds

The Congolese international has traversed a rocky trail on his way to England.

Since Jordan Botaka was announced as a Leeds United player on September 1st, the club's supporters have made no secret of their eagerness to see him in action. And fortunately for them, it seems that the 22-year-old can't wait to get his English adventure underway either.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the native of Congo has peeled back the curtain on his long and troubled path to Elland Road; one filled with adversity that Botaka struggles to recount, but one that has made him determined to succeed.

"It doesn’t make me happy to think about what happened because no-one would ever be happy with that," Botaka said. "But it happened and you live with it. You try to rise from that."

The former Excelsior player fled war-torn Congo as a young child, and harboured dreams of making it as a top level professional footballer for as long as he can remember. Or, at least, for as long as his late father encouraged him to try his luck.

“He would be very proud of this," Botaka said. "We had a plan together, a plan about what I would do. He’s not here anymore so I have to finish it.”

And the youngster may get his opportunity to kick-start those plans this weekend, as Championship action returns  to Elland Road following the international break.

Leeds welcome Brentford tomorrow, where Botaka would line up against his former coach at Excelsior, Marinus Dijkhuizen, if deemed fit enough to feature after his long trip back from Africa during the week.

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