Getting bragging rights over an old friend looms as the perfect way for Lukman Ahmed-Shaibu to help claim Monaro Panthers' first win of the Canberra Premier League season.
Ahmed-Shaibu and Lasse Olrik will go from roommates to rivals when the Panthers clash with Canberra Olympic at O'Connor Enclosed on Saturday.
It was the summer's end of 2013 when the duo first met at Prairie State College. Olrik had just left his native Denmark to complete his schooling and play college football in Chicago, where Ahmed-Shaibu had spent the past year establishing himself as Prairie State star.
The American forward was the team's captain and spent most of his time with his roommate Olrik off the field. Between lunches, training and backyard kicks, the pair became close friends.
But that will all be forgotten for 90 minutes this weekend.
"Lasse was a great roommate. He was funny. He understands me and I understand him... sure I'll be running away from him," Ahmed-Shaibu laughed.
"I know all of Lasse's strengths and weaknesses, and I'd like to think he knows about mine too. But not my weaknesses. I think he knows me pretty well.
"When I first got to Canberra, I hadn't seen Lasse for about three or four years. As soon as we met, we just started laughing. We didn't have to say much, we just started laughing and that was it you know? He was a good person to live with."
The two Prairie State College teammates were reunited in the capital earlier this year when Ahmed-Shaibu signed with Monaro.
Olrik, who joined Olympic in 2019, took it upon himself to help his old roommate adjust to his new home on the other side of the world.
"Once I heard he was interested in coming here, I got a good feeling from it. It's funny to think how you can end up somewhere and suddenly he's there as well. That's how life takes you, you know?" Olrik said.
"We see eachother every month, we're still very good friends. He helped me a lot in the US, so I tried to help him a lot here because I've been in Canberra a year longer.
"When I was in the United States he helped me adjust, every country plays football a different way and there's different cultures. He's a great guy and a very good footballer in my eyes.
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"We're both competitive, so I'm sure whoever wins on Saturday will be a bit more happier than the other guy and will have to tease them a bit."
Olympic claimed their first win of the 2020 season with a 5-1 victory over Tuggeranong United on Wednesday night, with the round-two clash postponed due to rain.
They only have a handful of days to prepare for Monaro but Olrik is confident they can overcome the short turnaround with good rest and nutrition.
The Panthers are still searching for success after two narrow losses to Canberra Croatia and Tigers FC.
"At the first game [against Croatia] you could see the disappointment in everybody's face," Ahmed-Shaibu said.
"We understand what we need to do. We're so close but nearly doesn't kill a bird, you have to make it happen.
"That's what it's about this weekend, to make sure we come out firing and give ourselves a chance to win.
"I'm sure [Olympic] are expecting a tough match as well and will come prepared. It's about who wants it the most."
NPL CAPITAL FOOTBALL: Round three
Men's: Saturday - Canberra Olympic v Monaro Panthers at O'Connor Enclosed, 3pm. Woden Weston v Tuggeranong United at Melrose Synthetic, 3.45pm. Sunday - Gungahlin United v Belconnen United at AIS Grassfields, 3pm. Tigers FC v Canberra Croatia at Nijong Oval, 3pm.
Women's: Sunday - Wagga City Wanderers v Canberra Olympic at Gissing Oval, 3pm. Gungahlin United v Monaro Panthers at Gungahlin Enclosed, 3pm. Tuggeranong United v Belconnen United at Kambah, 3pm. Woden Weston v Canberra United Academy at Melrose Synthetic, 3.15pm.