Majok and Bage: The duo who led Amarat United to glory

Majok and Bage: The duo who led Amarat United to glory
Emmanuel Malek Majok and Beco James Bage after winning golden boot and player of the tournament awards respectively (photo credit: Alex Bullen/The City Review)

Emmanuel Malek Majok and Beco James Bage topped the list of the best players for the Juba Local Football Association (JLFA) tournament that ended last week.

The pair were not only appreciated by their team, Amarat United, but also the organisers of the Juba-LFA who rewarded them for stellar performance.

A 21-year-old Malek Majok finished the competition with five goals to claim this year’s Juba LFA League golden boot

On the other hand, Beco James Bage, 20, was named the player of the tournament

Bage who spoke to The City Review after the win against Kator FC in the finals said football was one of the most enjoyable games that excite fans and players.

Bage who was also one of the shortest players in the league revealed that he was also given cash but did not disclose the amount he received.

“I feel happy for winning the cup for the club but most importantly having been the best player amongst many…going with cash is something that can give someone morale to do more next time.”

He revealed that it was not his first time to be named the best tournament player.

Bage revealed he had won the accolade on other occasions with the latest ones being in Kampala and Achia Wiir tournaments last year. He was named the best midfielder in the latter.

As a result of clinching the awards, Bage said that he believes that the sky is not the limit: he is aiming higher.

“… it is God’s will and I believe that God is doing it for me.”

When asked about his plans for football, he said he will always take football seriously and see where it takes him.

“I want to take it from this stage to the next level and see [where it takes me] and possibly to play for my country and do something great for the family as well. Although I have taken it a full-time job,” Bage added.

Also considered the youngest player, Bage said he was hoping that the country would find consistency in peace so that sports can grow and athletes like him can thrive.

He said it would be too early to promise the fans what he intends to do in football, saying in South Sudan, ‘‘it is difficult for some to predict the future’’.

“The only thing I can say is that let us see how it can work for me and the country because I am somebody who loves to continue with studies, but at the same time, it was the football that kept me in school,” Bage stressed.

 “I cannot say something bigger than what I am doing, yeah, I have the talent and skills as people always say but we need to get to the best thing that can fit with us as South Sudanese.”

Bage said he started his career way back in Yambio, while he was at St. Marys: “thanks to my coach Indepi who inspired me to football, his belief in me gave me all the necessary support and advice.”

He revealed that he has been balancing football with school.

“I thank God and my sponsor for making me finish my senior six some few months back,” he remarked.

He narrates how he joined Amarat United: “I came back  home for holidays, but as a player, I took in training with some teams which had an interest in me and Amarat United FC happened to sign me and up to now I am giving my best to the team.”

He said it was through his former coach and encouragements from other sports enthusiasts that made him be known and win awards.

However, Bage said if things go well, South Sudan could produce the best players on the continent.

“What I have seen in the country now is that the football is upgrading through its South Sudan Football Association, which is trying to do everything possible to improve football in the country,” he added.