Plateau Top Goalie Contest: Anozie Speaks About Benching Veteran Ajiboye, Obiozor

Plateau Top Goalie Contest: Anozie Speaks About Benching Veteran Ajiboye, Obiozor

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.

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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.

Anozie – during his time at FC Ifeanyi Ubah

“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.

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  • Chairmanfemi 4 years ago

    I quickly rushed to read the article thinking it’s a Young Goalie that we can add to the list of keepers to Watch out for. Unfortunately, that tag “Young Goalkeeper” just spoils the show. Nigerian players and age cheat always! What is Young with this guy am seeing here?? Am sure he will be in his 30’s and he claims he wants to play Abroad..lol; when you become 40 right

    • Dr. Drey. 4 years ago

      Hahahaha…After about 9 years playing in the Nigerian league (7 years with Abia Warriors, 1 year each with Abia Warriors and plateau United) he still calls himself “up and coming”. Pls don’t let it shock you too much if you see his name on the next list of callups to the Flying eagles…Lolz

      And by the way Thanks to CSN for the edit button. It was long overdue.

      • And then players like him will come out to say a coach asked him to pay bribe…..

        Na so…..

      • GLORY 4 years ago

        Looozzz. @ Drey please take it easy bro. These are the type late Keshi used to stunt SE growth for two years.Imagine, Mediocre players with chicken pox decamping even much better players. I was never a coach Keshi Fan for that under the carpet biz with SE/ national team but as a player then, I was his fan. Our local league need total overhauling/ revamping to start with.

        • Chima E Samuels 4 years ago

          Madam or uncle because I hardly heard a male called glory, watch how you speak of the dead you never know tomorrow. Let the family mourn in peace besides he won you all a gold after almost 10years and the last CAN so behave yourself, if you don’t like him keep it to yourself stop the junk talk.

          • GLORY 4 years ago

            LolZ. @ Chima when I hear people say don’t speak anything bad about the dead, I wonder where they got that from. I completely disagree with you or anyone on that. If the Bible n many other books didn’t speak about the evil of many dead people, the living today will not have known why they should seek to be honest, good n God fearing. That phrase that people should not speak ill of the dead is only to cover up evil deed n is satanic, hence I put it in the trash can. Again saying Keshi messed his hands with shoddy dealings during his time with SE doesn’t mean I hated him or that you love him better than I do. It’s just mean saying things as they are. We should stop the whole attitude of covering evil/wrong deeds simply because we related or connected to persons involved. Keshi thoroughly messed up as a manager in that regard, reason many of us have lost total trust for our local coaches.

          • Chima E Samuels 4 years ago

            Leave Keshi Alone. Keshi is corrupt and won Afcon, qualifed to Round16 of WC. I don’t think it’s a bad corruption if it worked for him.

          • Ignatius Abo 10 months ago

            Thumbs up Brotherman Chima. Only evil fans with evil intensions will call Keshi corrupt. These rotten teeth fans always engage in pull him down syndrome.

  • sideen 4 years ago

    On point Chima, Na so bro.

  • Pleas leave keshi alone we beg you guys

    • Ignatius Abo 10 months ago

      Thumbs up Okpe. They should leave Keshi alone. Rotten teeth fans should learn to appreciate the work of Nigeria most successful indigenous coach .

  • Stop arguing about the goalkeeper age you are not his dad and is none of your business

  • Collins 10 months ago

    The lad is really young, i have seen him keep live in several matches, he can’t be less than 32 though