Tuesday 27th June, 2017
A professional contract at Bali United. For a young striker from Western Australia like Ndumba Makeche, it sounds like a dream scenario to end up earning a living at your favourite holiday destination.

Before arriving in Denpasar two weeks ago, the former A-League junior had already visited the Indonesian island three times on personal vacations. It is only a three hour and 50 minute flight from Perth, and the abundant expat bars, offering Aussie beers on tap and big-screen international cricket, give the tourist strip of Kuta an unmistakable Waltzing Matilda flavour.

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.

"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."

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