Published: 06:00, 23 October 2020
Joan Luque hopes he’s set the standard that will lead to a longer stay at Maidstone.
A goal and two assists against Hemel Hempstead last weekend made it a debut to remember for the classy Spaniard.
With money tight, the Stones could only offer him a one-month deal but he’d love to change that.
“It’s a debut you dream of and now I’m looking forward to the next game, to do even better,” said Luque, 28.
“Those are the standards I’ve set now. I’ve got a month to show everyone that I’m good enough.
“I think I’ve proved it but if I have to prove it again, I will.”
Watching Luque against Hemel, the biggest surprise was that he wasn’t already fixed up with a club.
The winger left Dagenham in the summer and remained a free agent before Hakan Hayrettin was given permission to sign him.
“Football is sometimes just about opinions,” said Luque, who’s set to line up for unbeaten Maidstone at Chelmsford tomorrow.
“I was watching something and they were saying 100 people could be in a room and 99 will not believe in you.
“But one will and you have to give that belief back to that person and also believe in yourself.
“Just for one person to believe in you, that’s enough to make up your mind that you’re good enough.
“You just have to stay confident and work hard for when your moment comes.”
Luque was with Barcelona’s academy between the ages of 11 and 13 and played for several clubs in Spain before moving to the UK three years ago.
He scored 30 goals for Heybridge, earning a move to the Football League with Lincoln in 2018.
He played only once for the Imps in League 1 before dropping back into non-league with Bromley and Concord, then Dagenham signed him on a one-year deal.
Luque said: “This is my fourth season in England and I’m enjoying it.
“It was good to get that opportunity in the Football League and hopefully I can get back there.
“You have to go to the right place as well. I’m not saying Lincoln wasn’t the right place but I only got one chance there.
“That was against Blackburn, and I took it, but they didn’t believe in me for another chance so I had to find somewhere else.
“It’s good to go back a couple of steps to make a big one forward and hopefully that’s the case.”
Luque may be a Real Madrid fan but treasures his time as a kid at Barcelona.
The things he learned in their academy will stay with him for ever.
“As a Madrid fan I would say it was good at Barca,” said Luque.
“They teach you in a different way.
“You have the best coaches in football and you just have to be thankful for them because some of the things I know come from that time in my life.
“It’s not just Barca, all the managers I’ve had have taught me something new.
“Even now you’re always learning - every session you learn something new.
“Loads of those Barca players have gone on to the highest level.
“You think it could be you but football is about opinions.
“For someone you might be the best player and for another person you aren’t good enough.
“The main thing is I’m enjoying the journey and making memories for when I’m old.
“I enjoy meeting people and making friends in football.
“Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve still got a couple of friends in each team, at least.
“That’s what you want when you get to the end of your career and that’s the most important thing for me.”