Super Eagles and midfielder John Ogu who recently moved to Israel says goalkeeper Austin Ejide played a huge role in ensuring Hapoel Beer Sheva offered him a contract. In this interview with Johnny Edward, the former Academica FC players says Nigeria will make it to the 2015 AFCON in Morocco.
John Ogu, can you tell us why you decided to terminate your contract with Academica FC?
One of the reasons was because Academica didn’t respect me and I thought I have to move on with my career by terminating the contract I had with them.
And why did you decide to join Hapoel Beer Sheva despite offers from Spanish sides Eibar, Getafe and Fulham in England?
I didn’t know about the offers from the clubs you mentioned but I was only told about Eibar. None of the clubs you mentioned made an offer but Hapoel did and they also showed more interest in me and with the seriousness they showed, I decided to join the team.
No doubt you must have made some enquiries about Hapoel from your compatriot Austin Ejide and some other Nigerians playing in Israel.
Yes but it might interest you to know that Ejide played a big part in me joining the team, because he was actually asked about me by the club officials and he made good recommendation about my qualities and what I can bring to the team and that really helped the deal to work out. I appreciate him for that.
Good one. Having played two games since arriving at the club, how have you been adapting to the club and the style of play of the Ligat?
It’s been two good games for me since I arrived at the club. I’m very grateful to God because the fans appreciate my qualities and the officials too. I am adapting well since my arrival at the club, the people are nice to me, the fans, the club management and the players have been supporting me but the weather hasn’t. Above all, it has been a good league with top players and good rhythm for footballers.
You won the man-of the match award on your debut against Beitar Jerusalem. How did that make you feel?
I felt great getting such accolades from teammates and my coach even if I wasn’t 100% fit. I was given the best mark 6/10 ahead of others by the fans. I promise to be fully ready and do better in subsequent games.
What are your main targets this season Ogu?
My targets this season are to do well and help Hapoel Beer Sheva win the title and as well, score some couple of goals.
Talking about goals, Ogu your goal tally hasn’t been too impressive. Is it down to your role?
I am a defensive midfielder and not an attacking midfielder. Goal comes when I try to score because I love to move forward.
But you can equally play as an attacking midfielder
Yea if a coach wants me to.
Are you setting any goal target for yourself?
May be 10.Laughs
Talking about the Super Eagles, with four games left to play in the African Nations Cup qualifiers, Nigeria trail Congo and South Africa in group A. Do you think we still stand a chance of qualifying?
Sure, why not? South Africa is still coming to play us at home, we got Sudan home and away before travelling to Congo, you can’t write this team off.
I believe we will qualify. We just have to do the right things and play to the coaches Instructions. We have the players to get the job done. So, I’m confident we will qualify.
Don’t you miss playing for the Eagles?
To be honest, I do but the coaches know which is best. I’m always ready to give my best.
You were made to sing a song when you joined Hapoel. What inspired your choice of song?
It was God because He is the reason for my singing and everything I do in this life. He made my move a reality.
Didn’t the Gaza war scare you before you signed?
Not really…I didn’t meet any war here and i won’t see any till I leave.
On a lighter note John, when are you likely to get married?
Only God knows but have got this on my mind. Just praying I meet that girl God has for me. Sorry, I have to go now. I’ve got training.
By His grace, I pray you will and thanks for your time bro.