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Chidiebere John Onwuajuese: I returned to Nigeria to help develop NPFL

Chidiebere John Onwuajuese has said he returned back home after his sojourn in Europe ended as he bids to play his quota in developing the…

Chidiebere John Onwuajuese has said he returned back home after his sojourn in Europe ended as he bids to play his quota in developing the Nigeria Professional Football League. The center forward in a chat with Trust Sports further said home-based players should be given more opportunities to play in the national teams.


Can you tell us when you started your career? The clubs you have played in as well

I started my football career with Samba FC in 2013 before moving to Inter FC of Enugu in 2014. The following year, I joined Enyimba on loan and I was with them for a season before moving Verman African FC in Anambra. From there I joined Jazzax Bars in Uzbekistan.  

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What led you to choose football as a career? And how much support did you get from your family?

I have a great passion to play football. It has always been my dream from childhood to play football and my family gave me every support to see that I achieve my dream. Without their support, it may have been a different story.  

What obstacles did you face in your career as a footballer?

I wasn’t immune to challenges as I faced a lot of ups and downs. As a man, I had to pick myself up and forge ahead.  Life is full of challenges and only the living face them. They will come and we will overcome.  

You have played in foreign and Nigerian leagues. Can you tell us your experiences in these leagues?

Football is one language all over the world, but there is a sharp and noticeable difference between Nigerian and foreign leagues. The playing environment is so different that we are given better treatment in Europe than in Nigeria. They don’t owe you a single dime. Our salary is paid as of when due. These are some of the things that differentiate the foreign league from the Nigerian league.  

How much of education do you have?

Well in education level, I stopped in my SS3 and started my football career from there professionally in 2012.

You have ended your sojourn in Europe. What happened and why are you back home?

Well, it is a great time to face a new challenge and play in the NPFL again.  

Now you have returned home, what is the next step for you in terms of your football career?

My coming back home is not an accident but right time to come home. I want to test the league once again and play my part in promoting and developing the Nigeria Professional Football League. And again, I am returning to feel what it is to play in the league once again. Moreover, there is no place like home.  

You have returned to play in the NPFL. What is your assessment on the league?

The League Management Company are doing a great job to push the brand of the league. I know it is not an easy task but they are definitely doing their best to attract corporate sponsorship for the league. I am optimistic we will get there.  

Have you ever been called up or played for the national team at any levels?

Every player’s dream is to play in his national team. I believe my time will come to play for the Super Eagles as I love to experience the atmosphere, and camaraderie within the team. I wouldn’t mind if I get the call up to even play for the Super Eagles B, the home-based Eagles. It is all still the national team.  

From your own perspective as a footballer, what do you think is responsible for the recent failures of the Super Eagles and what can be done to revive the glory days?

Well, our players need time to gel as a team, we need younger players in the team. We need to give the home-based players the opportunity to play in the national team. Again, when players are given moral support, they will put in their best to get positive results for Nigeria.  

The World Cup is fast approaching. Which African team will you be supporting since Nigeria didn’t qualify and why?

I will throw my support behind Senegal. We all saw how they performed at the Nations Cup in Cameroon. They have great players who are doing very well in their various clubs in Europe.  

By the way, do you have any form of regrets in your career?

My football career is my all and all after God. I love my football career more than every other thing. I don’t regret so to say because everything that happens to me is divinely orchestrated. Of course, as a human being, I surely made some mistakes which I have learnt from to build my career to where it is now.

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