Monday, May 23, 2011

Ekigho Ehiosun rises to shine

Warri Wolves all-action striker Ekigho Ehiosun has taken Nigerian football by storm this season with goals for both club and country.
The recently qualified petroleum engineer, who will celebrate his 21st birthday next month, made a goal-scoring debut for the Super Eagles in a friendly against Sierra Leone in Lagos in February.
It was a classic goal poacher’s goal as he pounced on a through ball delivered by fellow debutant Joel Obi just moments after coming off the subs’ bench.
‘Ehis’ has also fired four goals for the country’s Olympic team and was on target for the Eagles ‘B’ team four times at the recent WAFU Nations Cup hosted by Nigeria. now sits down with the ‘Man on Fire’, who just wants to keep roasting defences match after match.
MTNFootball: Ekigho, you must be delighted to be picked for next month’s top games against Argentina and Ethiopia.
Ekigho Ehiosun: I was so, so happy that I was included in the team. I thank Almighty God for propelling me thus far in my career. I sincerely thank the chief coach, Samson Siasia, for believing in me. I thank coach (Simon) Kalika and the rest of Eagles technical crew for encouraging and guiding me also. I also thank my team mates for the love and brotherly love among us. I promise to do all my best and continue to work extra hard to justify my inclusion in the team.
Before the Nations Cup qualifier in Ethiopia, the Eagles will host Argentina in a friendly in Abuja.
EE: The friendly would be a good preparation for the important Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia. I am sure we will do our best as a team to try and win and make Nigerians happy.
I would also make this appeal as a part of the team to tell the fans to be patient with us when the goals are not coming or whenever we are trying to do our best in the game and we are initially finding it difficult to break the Argentines. Their patience and support would definitely propel us to win the match on our own soil.
You are already being compared to the legendary Rashidi Yekini?
EE: It is not right for anybody to compare me with a legend like Rashidi Yekini who had represented this country in no small way. He has done great things for this country, while I am just beginning. I have been hearing his exploits since I was very young.
So, I want to be known as Ekhigo Ehiosun, not Rashidi Yekini, because the vacuum he has left behind is very difficult to fill.
Yekini is a player to look up to but I just want to be my real self and nothing more. What I set before me is to work extra hard every day to ensure I become a prolific scorer that my coaches can always rely on.
I am working hard and trying to listen to my coaches and also learn from my seniors in the Super Eagles so that I could be a complete striker everybody would be proud of.
Let nobody compare me with one of my idols, Yekini. I hope to achieve what he has achieved or even more in the nearest future.
So, are you under pressure any time you play for Nigeria?
EE: I love playing football. He has become part of me and I just try to enjoy myself and do my best on the field, so I don’t feel any pressure playing for my country or club. But I am always very happy any time I score goals.
Everybody expected the Eagles ‘B’ team to win the WAFU Cup only for Togo to upset you.
EE: Honestly, I don’t know what happened or what went wrong in that match. We did our best as a team but we were not lucky enough to emerge champions.
I was so confident that we would win because we were very ready to win. But that day everything just went wrong. I couldn't say what went wrong, so also my colleagues. I had thought that I would win my first trophy as an Eagles player but man proposes, God disposes.
We lost to hard luck. Luck was not just on our side. When luck fails you, you will do everything and it won't work. Our coaches did everything humanly possible for us to win the cup.
Let us leave that behind us now and face the Argentina friendly and especially the Africa Nations Cup qualifier away in Ethiopia. If we win these two games, I am very sure Nigerians would forget the WAFU Cup loss.
How would you describe the last three months of your career?
EE: Even if I were to surrender my whole body, it wouldn’t be enough to thank God for what he has done in my life and most especially my career. On and off the field God has done wonders in my life and words are not enough to appreciate what He has done for me.
In my life generally I need to thank Him from the bottom of my heart and to the depth of my soul.
On the back of such great form, you must be on your way to playing in Europe.
EE: I am currently enjoying my football with Warri Wolves. If something good comes my way, you people will know, but not until then.
Did your parents support you when you started out kicking the ball as a kid?

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