Meet Ifeanyi Ubah Assistant Captain Charles Okafor who talked with a staff of National Daily, *Esther Egbe* during a chat about how he started football, his plans, dreams and what his fans should expect this season.
How long have you been playing professional ball?
I have been playing for the past seven years now. I love my job.
What is the one thing you would want to change in the Nigeria league ?
As a player I wish our league keeps on improving in all departments. Right from the glass house.LMC and referees too can make our league more better and organized.
We have talented players in this country. All clubs management also should try there best in players welfare mostly salaries and other entitlements.
Was there anytime you felt like giving up?
When there is alot of pressure keeps coming from your family that they feel like are you sure this football will fetch you money, but my late father and mother they always believed in me.The most important thing is that i always pysche myself up that I won’t give up till I achieved my goal.
Who is your favorite Nigerian player?
At the moment Troost Ekong.Moreover the entire Super eagles players are doing there best whenever they are called.
Where is the best stadium in Nigeria?
The best stadium in Nigeria is in Uyo .
Who is your best coach ?
Coach Uche Okagbue. He’s highly tactical. He’s my current coach, his presence and words of advice kept us doing well in the league today and he’s a disciplined coach. He also associates with his players.So he’s a role model to alot of the players in our team.
Who is your best teammates?
Mbami Chukwujekwu and Udeh Chinonso they are my close pal but all my teammates i associates with everyone.
Are you enjoying the presence situation of IUFC?
Yes of course because where we are at the log is good for us d team entirely.Our aim now is to appear in the Super Six.
I heard they have reduced the pay and match bonus?
In terms of financial situation I know the management are doing there possible best for our welfares but for few months now we’re not paid but I strongly believe the management will resolve the issue and we get all our entitlements.
Yes, everything was reduced and the management have there own purpose of doing that . We the players that are the actors and our job is to play I know when we get to the super6, a lot of things especially our welfare will be settled.
What’s your position?
Centre back. Minister of defense.
Where is your team on the table?
We are third on the table.
Have you been called to the National team since you started professional Football?
Yea before the last Olympics when I was with plateau utd and I was invited to the U-23 Olympic team led my former Nigeria international, Samson Siasia.Before the nations cup and the Olympic.
Did you play ? Or drop half way ?
I was dropped because of the politics in Nigeria football which you know well.
So since then you have not been called again?
Yes, but I believe soon God will still do something for me. I still have the confidence that I will be invited.
How were you discovered?
My mother always tell me that when I was growing I normally kick my feeding bottle anything I do play with my legs.My father plays football ,but not professionally.
Can you say Football is making progress in Nigeria?
Gradually, alot of improvement season by season, but the major factor is players welfare.
I saw the news about the U-17 boys after coming back from a major tournament because they didn’t win the trophy the NFF offered them 40k each to go back two their various home is not encouraging.
How will you describe your strength as a player?
Am always giving my best each 90mins I played whenever am called upon.
I have played all games this season for my club FCIU and I’m a consistent player at least I’m the only player in the team currently that have played all games 90mins this current campaign.
What Europe club do you support?
Arsenal.Gunners for life till eternity.From birth that has been my favourite team and I wish to play there soon.
Who is your favourite foreign coach ?
Pep.No doubt about him he’s exceptional.
How many clubs have you played for?
Zamfara Utd, Plateau Utd, Mighty Jet and I’m currently with Ifeanyi Ubah FC.
How long have you been playing for IUFC and how has it been playing for them?
This my second season with the team.Unfortunately last season I was not given playing time because the former Coach Ladan Bosso never believed in some of the players and I felt bad last season. We almost went on relegation if not for the drama last season that they ended the league.But I still keep my head cool and I never complained atleast this season we’re on course.
What do you hope to achieve with Football?
I have achieved alot of things as a Footballer.Making my widow mother more comfortable and my entire family even my friends at least I can assist alot of people if I grow big with good financial contracts.It will be outstanding for me.
Remembering the less priveledge those in needs.Have good business and can still join any football adminstration.
What’s are your plans for 2019?
Much successful national team call up and Europe contract calling.
Your message to fans?
Our fans have been outstanding and so much supportive for the team we won’t let them down.
To my special fans alot of people have believed in me till date because they know what I can offer for any team I play for especially for the national team.
Will you like your kids to play football?
I will do it with all my heart. Football is a game of passion and a good business too.
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