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Budi’s plan is simple ...

He’s going to be a star, instead of sweating over each football boot he makes, each stitch he sews, each box he packages. He’s going to play for the greatest team on earth, rather than in the square behind the factory where he works.

But one unlucky kick brings Budi’s world crashing down, because now he owes the Dragon, the most dangerous man in all Jakarta. Soon it isn’t only Budi’s dreams at stake, but his life.

A story about dreaming big, about hope and heroes, and never letting anything stand in your way...



How it all kicked off ...

Kick began life as a piece of rubbish in a shoebox back in 2013. I was working as a sales assistant in a sport shop when I found a crumpled energy gel sachet – covered in Asiatic branding – nestled between a pair of brand-new football boots. Although I didn’t know it at the time, I had just witnessed the birth of a superstar footballer named Kieran Wakefield, a tyrannical landlord known as the Dragon, and Budi, a little boy from Jakarta with big dreams.


That discovery in a narrow, dimly lit stockroom prompted me to question where and how these products are made, and by whom. The answers, I came to learn, are to be found in the sweatshops of Asia: thousands of anonymous factories that churn out goods for glossy, international brands. While I was researching fast fashion and the global textile industry, the most lucrative football transfer of all time was being negotiated. I calculated how long it would take the footballer in question to earn a sweatshop worker’s monthly wage. The answer: 100 seconds. I began to wonder when the beautiful game had grown so ugly.


But within this bleak reality I could sense a story that needed to be told, a story of family and friendship and football. As much as I hope Kick will shed light on a desperate global issue, I feel it must also remain a testament to the transcendent, unifying power of sport. Now more than ever, I believe we need characters like Budi who are filled with goodness and dreams and the desire for a better world. Characters who are incorruptible despite the precedents. Despite everything.

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