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Interview:’Playing For Super Eagles Will Also Be My Goal’— Says Former Golden Eaglets Star, Oduko

Interview:’Playing For Super Eagles Will Also Be My Goal’— Says Former Golden Eaglets Star, Oduko

Ogaga Oduko has revealed that he holds dearly the ambition to play for the Super Eagles of Nigeria in the nearest possible future.

The former Under-17 left full-back who in January completed a move to FC Saburtalo Tbilisi of Georgia said this and much more in an exclusive interview with Complete Sports’ reporter, Oluyemi Ogunseyin

Congrats on your recent transfer to FC Saburtalo Tbilisi of Georgia. Can you tell us more about the move?

My move to Saburtalo was initiated by my dad, Ese Oduko who is a football agent/scout and his partner. I was in Turkey with TFF 1. League side, Eskhisehir when the link came and my dad said it was best for me to go to Georgia and start my professional football career. 

We learnt there were numerous offers for you from clubs in Europe. Why did you choose Georgia?

Yes, there were transfer offers from Spain and Belgium but my dad said it is good to play from the bottom until one gets to the top because it would help my exposure to European football. 

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I will learn gradually before moving to Belgium or any other top league in Europe.

You signed a two-year deal with Saburtalo. How have you found the club and what are you hoping to achieve with them this season?

Yes, I signed a two-year deal with Saburtalo and I am working very hard for the club to achieve a good position in the Georgian league.

The club is very welcoming and I am learning very fast. They are a traditionally competitive side, they always win the league to qualify for the UEFA Champions League. 

Having played a few games already for Saburtalo, can you tell us more about football in Georgia?

It will take about ten games for me to really know what to say about the Georgian league but it is competitive. 

How soon do you see yourself breaking into the Nigerian national team just like you played for the Golden Eaglets before?

I believe that every player wants to represent his country and that will always be my goal. Nigerian football players are very talented but discovering them on merit is very key. 

But I have the confidence that whenever I am called upon to play for my beloved country, I will always put in my best. 

I have represented Nigeria at the youth level and I want to build on that to grow further into the senior team (Super Eagles). 

My dad has a vision to develop and place young players to win the senior world cup for Nigeria in ten years time and I am still holding on to that plan to be among those players that will lift the senior world cup one day. 

What would you call the greatest achievement of your young football career so far?

My greatest achievement as a footballer so far is signing a professional contract, every young player out there dreams of becoming a professional one day but most of those who represented their country at the junior level do not have such opportunity. 

So, I am so blessed and thankful to God to have had this chance this very early in my football career. But the work has just started for me to achieve the best in my career. 

What has been the lowest point of your career?

The lowest point of my career so far was when I was dropped in Brazil few days to the start of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. 

I was ready, I had worked really hard, helped the Golden Eaglets to qualify for the world cup at the African cup of Nations in Tanzania and my mind was set to show myself to the world and also to make my country proud by winning. 

Arsenal and Manchester City were already sending their scouts to watch me in Brazil. One of the Arsenal youth football directors was my dad’s close friend, having worked together at Brentford.

So, hearing the news that I was not going to be in the Golden eaglets final squad for the Under-17 World Cup in Brazil in 2019 crumbled me. But I am grateful to God for his kindness and also my adopted father who is godly and supported me a whole lot.

He and his wife, my adopted mother encouraged me not to focus on the negative things but look towards the positive aspect of my football career. This made me to become much stronger.

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