Luiyi de Lucas keen to grasp second chance at Livingston

The 28-year-old Dominican Republic defender signs for Livi after a second trial.

Luiyi de Lucas keen to grasp second chance at Livingston PA Media

Luiyi de Lucas is keen to take his second chance of a career at Livingston after his protracted move to Scottish football was confirmed by the West Lothian club.

The 28-year-old Dominican Republic defender had a trial with Livi last year but David Martindale passed up the chance to sign him.

However, a second trial period during the World Cup break – where De Lucas played in three bounce games, including against QPR where he came up against Scotland striker Lyndon Dykes – persuaded the Lions boss to offer him an 18-month-deal, with Livingston holding an option of an extra year.

After eventually getting his paperwork completed, De Lucas arrived in Scotland following a spell at Finnish club FC Haka and is available for the cinch Premiership game against Dundee United on Wednesday.

He said: “I played on trial last year but when my agent said I had the chance to come here again I said, ‘you are crazy’, I was really surprised. I didn’t expect that.

“I don’t know why I didn’t come last year – you can ask the gaffer.

“I did everything I could but we didn’t have games. But (this time) I could play games and he could see me in a real game.

“I waited a long time. It is difficult to come to another country for me after Brexit.

“Everything was so difficult for me to come here to play. I need to make (fill in) a lot of papers. It is crazy.

“But I am so happy to be here. It is a dream because I followed football in the UK, first the Premier League and then Scotland.

“I love the passion they have here for football. I expect it will be really hard, really physical, and I am going to learn a lot.

“It is good for me because I am a physical player and I can play too. But I don’t want to speak too much. I want everyone to see me on the pitch.”

Martindale explained his change of heart on signing De Lucas, saying: “He came in last year after the season had finished and trained with me.

“I thought he was probably 30 to 50 games away from playing for me in terms of his own development because he came from the lower leagues in Spain.

“I said to him to get some game time in a half-decent league, so he went over to Finland and played 30-plus games for Haka and his agent got back in touch.

“So he came back and fair play, he is better than what he was last year.

“I threw him in against QPR down there and he played against big Lyndon and did quite well, played against FK Liepaja over there (Turkey training camp) and did okay and played against Fortuna Sittard and did what I asked him to do and he has been training in my environment. He is around the level I need.”

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