Landing Darboe has been one of the most consistent attacking midfielders in the Bangladesh Premier League in the last three seasons.
He initially started out at unfancied Feni Soccer Club before his heroics saw him move to former champion Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club and finally, top-tier winner Dhaka Abahani Limited.
What has caught the attention is perhaps the Gambian midfielder's shooting ability in his very first season. He scored some of his finest goals from outside the box and the 29-year old will no doubt be one of the players to watch out for in the new season that kicks off with the Federation Cup on Saturday.
It was another Gambian Omar K Sisse who brought Landing to Bangladesh four years ago. At that time, Omar was the head coach of Soccer Club, who got relegated to the second tier last season. In his debut season, Landing scored 11 goals, thus catching the eyes of the Sheikh Jamal officials.
At Sheikh Jamal, he had team mates with better technical ability compared to Soccer Club, and his performance also improved in the process as he scored 17 goals and created a number of assists.
Landing hails from a family of five brothers. Three of them are professional footballers with one playing in Sudan and two in Gambia. His younger brother meanwhile, is too young to chose a career.
Considered a replacement for English midfielder Lee Andrew Tuck, Landing was signed by the Sky Blues on deadline day. The Gambian will not feel out of place at the Dhanmondi-based outfit as he has played with some of his team mates before, including Nigerian striker Emeka Darlington at Sheikh Jamal.
However, Landing has to bide his time as he is unlikely to be fit for their opening game in the Federation Cup. He is expected to be fit for the second match.
On the eve of the new season, Landing expressed determination to give his best for his new employer.
“The team are good. Everybody is good here. As professional player, I can do all my best and impress the team. When they signed me they had belief in me, they trusted me. I will try to prove myself. I will do my best,” Landing told Dhaka Tribune before practice at the club premises on Wednesday afternoon.
When queried about his life in Gambia, Landing said, “Life was so good in Gambia. I’m a soldier. Military! Military! Still, still.”
He though refused to elaborate further.
“I can’t say military stuffs. I’m still with them,” he added.
Abahani's Croatian head coach Drago Mamic was delighted with Landing's purchase but confirmed that he will miss the first game on Saturday.
“Landing is not 100% ready. He is improving but might not be ready for the first game. By second match, he will be alright,” said Mamic before adding, “I see him for five-six trainings. I heard about him before. Everyone was positive about him. This player is what we need, that one player who is very clever with quality, not lose the ball, very good pass, strong shooting. Every team will be stronger with him than without him. He will be big plus for our team.”
Mamic continued, “Last year in that time nobody knew Lee Tuck would play so good. I’m expecting now Landing and Emeka will also show they are not any less quality than Sunday [Chizoba] and Lee Tuck. My philosophy is all the players must perform, and not only depend on one or two.”