Plateau United goalkeeper Chinedu Anozie (pictured above) says the grace of God and hard work are key in his ascendance to the top pick position in the Tin City side who are currently topping the 2019/2020 NPFL table, Completesports.com reports.
Anozie linked up with the 2017 Nigerian champions from FC Ifeanyi Ubah after a dissappointing 2018/2019 abridged league season. He had previously had played for Abia Warriors for seven seasons before crossing over to oriental neighbors, FC Ifeanyi Ubah.
The bulky shot stopper has recorded 10 clean sheets before the NPFL was put on hold as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, which forced the suspension of football and sporting activities across the globe.
Anozie’s goalkeeping mates in Plateau United; Dele Ajiboye and David Obiozor, are more established having featured prominently for the various grades of the National Teams. While 29-year-old Ajiboye had kept for the U17 Golden Eaglets (2007), U20 Flying Eagles (2009), U23 Olympic Eagles (2011) and Super Eagles (2018) with three caps, Obiozor was part of (late) coach Stephen Keshi’s bronze medal-winning home-based Eagles in 2014 CHAN in Cape Town, South Africa.
On arrival in Jos, Anozie realised he had to fight for a shirt in coach Abdul Maikaba’s star-studded goalkeeping department, and the young keeper braced up for it.
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“I’m not surprised starting games ahead of Ajiboye and Obiozor. As a young goalkeeper, who is just coming up, I knew I had to put up a fight to pick the starting shirt. I did not come to Plateau United to make up the numbers. I’m there to sit on the bench and watch the show,” the soft-spoken goaltender told Completesports.com.
“I have the ambition to make my own mark. I want to be like them because they have kept for the national teams. As a young goalkeeper, I want to keep for the national team also. I want to make my own name as they have made theirs. I have the ambition to even play outside Nigeria. And to realise my dream, I had to put up a good fight.
“Ajiboye and Obiozor are fantastic goalkeepers. They are full of experience. They had been doing perfectly well for the team before I came. But for me to snatch the shirt and become number one goalkeeper, I must have to put in so much effort.
“And at the end of the day, I would say, it is the grace of God and hard work that have propelled me to start the season for Plateau United and since then, things have been working out well for us. But don’t make any mistake about it; it has not been all about me keeping in all the games so far. I’ve equally missed out on some games too. It’s not as if I’m the only one keeping, no.
Anozie added: “Ajiboye has had his chances of keeping in some games, so also Obiozor. But for me, I would say, it is all about hard work and grace of God that I’m keeping for the team ahead of Ajiboye and the other goalkeepers, and also my belief I can be like them or even overtake them because I believe that if I can do it here, I can also do it abroad and I can do it anywhere.”
With 13 matches remaining in the current campaign, Plateau United are sitting top of the standings with 49 points, four points clear of second placed Rivers United who are second with 45 points. Lobi Stars are third with 43 points just as Enugu Rangers stand in fourth position with 37 points, with a game in hand. Enyimba are fifth with 36 points having played only 20 matches.Copyright © 2023 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.