DEREK Boateng is desperate to hit the ground running at Fulham and put his Ukrainian nightmare behind him.
The ball-winning midfielder finally completed his move to Craven Cottage at the third time of asking this summer after his contract at Dnipro was cancelled.
Boateng revealed the heartache of being away from his three young kids during his two-year stay in Eastern Europe.
However, the 30-year-old will be reunited with his family following his move to London.
He told the Chronicle : “I wasn’t happy there. I was living alone without my family, which was very tough for me. I explained it to Dnipro several times, but they didn’t understand.
“I really love my family and want them beside me all of the time. They give me more energy and power to keep going. I cannot survive without them. I only got to see my kids when they had vacation in school. I would see them for two weeks and then they would go. It was really tough.
“Fulham were interested a few years ago. There was a misunderstanding with Dnipro. Fulham really wanted me to come but they said no. I wanted to go. I always had Fulham in my head – that was the club I wanted to play for.
“It’s a big relief for me to finally be here. This is the third time they’ve come in for me, so I thank god it’s happened.
“I called my family and told them ‘it’s over now’. I can have fun and play my football.
“They will be coming to join me after our pre-season tour. After football you have to have a life, and my family means everything.”
Boateng's journey to SW6 has taken him via Greece, Sweden, Israel, Germany and Spain.
But the Ghana international, who faced Fulham twice in the Europa League in 2011/12, admits he's always dreamed about playing in England.
He added: “Every footballer wants to play in the Premier League.
“I always wanted to come to England because of the language, the game and the type of player I am.
“I like to get the ball from the defenders and move it forward. I like to tackle and will do my best for the club.”
Fulham continue their preparation for the start of the new campaign with two pre-season matches at Craven Cottage in August.
First up is Spanish side Real Betis on August 5 at 8pm before the Whites entertain Italian outfit Parma on August 10, kick-off 3pm.
Tickets for these matches are on general sale, priced just £10 for adults and only £5 for under 16s when purchased in advance of the day of the matches.
Family packages are also available to buy, for further information visit www.fulhamfc.com/tickets
The Whites first home game in the Premier League is against Arsenal, secure your seat for all 19 home games from £449 adults (less than £24 per game) at www.fulhamfc.com/seasontickets