.Nigeria International Speaks To Eyeonthesports.com About His New Year Challenges –
Outgoing-Sunshine Stars Football Club of Akure goalkeeper, Moses Ocheje is our star of the week. Ocheje, a former youth international, who featured for Nigeria at the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Canada, is undoubtedly one of the best goalkeepers ever produced by Nigeria. Apart from his good reflexes, Ocheje, who was born on 21 May, 1988, has the ability to organise his defenders during matches. The stocky goalie, a great penalty kick taker, has seen it all, having featured consistently for years in the Nigeria Premier League and the lucrative CAF Champions League, the biggest club competition in Africa.
In a country where many players prefer to play and change clubs season after season without much direction, Ocheje is living his dream as he disclosed his plans for a new challenge in the classroom. Ocheje also spoke about the transformation of the Super Eagles by Coach Stephen Keshi in this exclusive interview with eyeonthesports.com. Enjoy it.
*Sunshine’s Moses Ocheje (left) stops a face-to-face effort from a player of Esperance of Tunisia during their CAF Champions League match.
Q: Moses, how will you describe your childhood?
My childhood was like that of a normal kid. I came to this world with my twin-sister, Rosemary Scheme. I am from a family of six and I grew up in Otukpo, where I attended Ode Memorial Secondary School. I have a few colleagues back home but my best friend is Ogandy who also hails from Otukpo. He is a serving Youth Corp member in Lafia, Nasarawa State at the moment. And whether I was born with a silver spoon? Well, I will say something close to that but I lost my father very early in life.
Oh!Accept our sympathy over your late father, so how did you cope without him, did you get to know him very well?
Yes, I knew him well but growing up wasn’t easy for me. Things were very challenging but my twin sister and other members of the family were always there to encourage me.
Can you recollect the game that opened the door for your glowing career?
Yes, that was in 2005 when I featured for a youth side in a friendly match between Lobi Stars and Otukpo All Stars team. I gave my best in that match and my performance earned me a deal at Lobi Stars of Makurdi. It was the same year that I was invited to the national U-17, Golden Eaglets camp. Although, I must confess that I struggle to buy my first boot because of the love I have for football. Also, I started playing football just like any other kid on the streets. I kicked any object I saw on the road, just playing with passion and derived lots of fun from doing so.
I went on like that until I joined some clubs. I have come a long way, playing for teams such as Bassa United and Adamawa United. I also played for Lobi Stars, Niger Tornadoes before joining Sunshine Stars of Akure.
*Moses Ocheje in action during a match.
With the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, new season beckoning, many players have moved in and out of clubs including your team, Sunshine Stars of Akure. What’s your plan for the new season?
Well, I am thinking of heading back to school now, because that’s the only way I can secure my future.
What steps have you taken about your education, and will you combine classroom activities with football?
I’m almost there. I should be starting the programme proper when lectures commence on 15 February, 2014, in the Business Administration Department of Benue State Polytechnic. I don’t think it will be easy for me to combine both education and football because I want to concentrate on my studies.
If you are leaving Sunshine Stars, where are you likely to play professional club football next?
After Sunshine Stars, the clubs I will like to play for next are in the South South. I will like to play for either Dolphins Football Club or Sharks in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. I can also play for Bayelsa United of Yenagoa.
As you are leaving Akure, how will you describe your relationship with Sunshine boss and the Executive Director of Ondo State Football Agency, Mike Idoko?
Mr. Idoko and I had a nice and cordial relationship during my period at Sunshine and I believe it will continue because he is one of the few managers whom many Nigeria players will want to play for any day…To be continued.