Saturday January 4 2014

Ugandan-born Lorenzen hoping to make his mark

Lorenzen enjoying his debut for the senior  Werder Bremen team i

Lorenzen enjoying his debut for the senior Werder Bremen team in the German Bundesliga recently. The Ugandan-born has gone through all the football ranks. Photo Agencies 


Youngster Melvyn Lorenzen managed though to make his debut a month later replacing the Dutchman Eljero Elia in the 88th minute of their one-all draw with Stuttgart on October 5.

Kampala- The determination to succeed is palpable as he speaks. Calm and eloquent, he immediately gives the impression of a player who knows what he wants out of his career.
Born to a Ugandan father and German mother, the 19-year-old Melvyn Lorenzen left the country 15 years ago with his parents, settling in London before moving to Kiel in northern Germany.

From there his football journey began, one that has pleasantly surprised his father Drake Mugisa.

“None of us in the family ever played football and I did not think he would ever take it up as a profession,” his father reveals.

“It has been difficult at times but once you work hard, remain focused and maintain your discipline, the hard work eventually starts paying off,” Lorenzen speaks with assuredness.

Early career
Lorenzen started his career at SP VGG Putlos between 2001 and 2005 before moving to Oldenburg SV.

It was after he moved to Holstein Kiel in 2007 that he started taking his career seriously.
“A lot of my friends at school urged me on,” he reveals. At 15, he was drafted into Kiel’s u-17 B-side where he scored once in 10 games.

After a difficult first year, Lorenzen, then netted 11 goals in 22 appearances for the B-side in what was his most productive season earning a call up to the U-19 team.

With the ability to play as a winger on either side as well as a central striker , the 6 ft 2 Lorenzen soon established himself in the U-19 team earning 20 caps and scoring five goals. Last season, he finished as the second highest goal scorer in the Holstein A youth team with seven goals in 20 games despite playing almost half of those games as a winger.

Those performances did not go unnoticed as Werder Bremen came calling for the youngster’s services at the end of last season.

Werder Bremen career
“I am pleased with my work so far but I know I still have a long way to go,” he says of his time at the Bundesliga club so far.
Lorenzen has mainly featured for the reserve side which is in the fourth tier of German football since his arrival.

But he has been one of only two players from that youthful setup to feature in the senior side this season.

He has played in 13 games for the reserve side’s U-19 this season scoring four goals as well as contributing the same number of assists. After impressing first team coach Robin Dutt, Lorenzen was called up to train with the first team squad for the first time on September 3 but suffered a muscle strain during the subsequent training session.

Full debut
He managed though to make his debut a month later replacing Dutchman Eljero Elia in the 88th minute of their one-all draw with Stuttgart on October 5 last year.

“He is one of the best players we have from our side and impressed the first team coach when he worked with us,” Viktor Skripnik coach of the reserve side said.

“It is the proudest moment of my career so far,” he says of his debut as he breaks into a smile.

Lorenzen has made one more appearance this season coming on in the 90th minute of Bremen’s goalless home draw with Freiburg.

“It is exciting to be part of the first team and I am really looking forward to the second half of the season,” he says.

“I have not really had time to make an impact but I will continue working hard and hope to make the most of my chances when they come.”

The youngster is eligible to play for three countries Uganda, Germany and England but is still undecided on which jersey to don.

“I would not mind playing for Uganda if the offer came up,” he says. “But I have not really thought about it. I want to concentrate on my club career at the moment and really try to break into the first team,” he says.

Starting Monday, he will be hoping to make that desired impact when the first team resumes intensive preparations for the second round with a training camp in Andalusia, Spain.