Beijing Baxy’s story is an unusual one indeed. Sponsored by an Ice Cream maker, the capital side were relegated from the China League One last year, but this year find themselves fighting for promotion to the CSL after being saved by the drop due to the unfortunate disbanding of Dalian Shide. Romanian centre back Lucian Goian joined from Tianjin Teda amid a flurry of signings at the turn of the year that beefed up a side rescued from .
Lucian, the brother of Romanian international Dorin Goian, has played European Champions League and UEFA Cup football with Dinamo Bucharest before moving to China with Tianjin Teda in 2012.
On a roasting Beijing summers day, Wild East Football’s Peter Davis joined Lucian Goian for a drink to chat China League One and his time with Beijing Baxy so far, where he most recently bagged a brace in Baxy’s 2-1 victory over Beijing Institute of Technology.
At the moment Baxy are doing quite well considering that last season they should have been relegated,will it still be considered a good season if Baxy finish in the top two or not?
I think so, last year they were relegated but now there are still six or seven players from last season’s side so this has been a good performance so far. It means we have done our job well and we have a good young coach who is making us making us stronger and improving our organization and this is important for us because in the second division an organized team makes all the difference and you can beat anyone.
What can you say about the standard of football in China League One?
The second league has a lot of good foreign players and they make the difference in the games in this league. There are a lot of good Chinese players, their mentality is lower than in the Chinese Super League but they have good qualities and if they had a better mentality their level would be much higher.
With yourself, Ryan Griffiths and now Steve Makinwa is there a gulf in class within Beijing Baxy?
We have some young players who are learning from us and when they are listening you can see it in the games and are starting to show real quality, game by game they are getting better and that is of course good for Baxy. They have to lead by our example because they have a different mentality and we are trying to help them make our team better.
Former Guoan midfielder Lu Jiang, the Baxy captain, seems to be an important part of the team, what influence does he have?
He is an important player and having played for Beijing Guoan he has good mentality and good experience and as I said the younger players have to learn from people like him because he is a respected player.
How do you reflect on your time with Tianjin Teda in the Chinese Super League?
I don’t have any regrets, I played well in Tianjin and I was appreciated for what I did by the players and the fans, I had very good moments and I was very happy with my time there. I am proud to have been in that team, we had the second best defense in the CSL but at the end of the season we decided to end our cooperation. I still watch them now, their start to 2013 was not so good but now they are improving and I hope they stay in the same division because they don’t deserve to be relegated.
Were you disappointed to not get another contract with Tianjin Teda?
I had a good season last year but I didn’t deserve to not be offered another deal. Now I am at Beijing Baxy and I am very happy to be here which is the most important thing for me at the moment.
You played for a long time in Bucharest as did Ryan Griffiths, did you ever run into one another there?
I played against him twice actually while he was at National Bucharest and I was at Dinamo. I also played against Makinwa, he was at Lazio while I was at Dinamo and we faced each other in qualification for the Champions League. Our coach was saying 6-7 years ago that you would never imagine playing together in China after all those years.
Last week you scored two and put in easily a man of the match performance in a Beijing derby game against Beijing Institute of Technology but reporting on it was poor. What can you tell me about the lack of information that’s reported in the Chinese second division?
A lot of people who love football are coming to the games to watch it live and this is a big advantage. For me I am happy if I am playing well and I am happy with myself, it doesn’t matter if I am getting noticed or not. When I play a good game I am happy to have given 100% even if we lost.
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