Nigeria: Loan Spells Taught Me Real-Life Lessons in Europe, Says Nigerian Footballer Ugochukwu Oduenyi

Nigerian and Javor Matis Ivanjica striker Ugochukwu Ogbonnaya Uduenyi, has spoken of how the many years he spent playing for clubs on load deal shaped him to become a better player in Europe.

The 25-year-old spent time at Croatian Second Football League, NK Sesvete, and SV Horn in recent seasons, Zhetysu before his latest move to Serbian second division side Javor Matis Ivanjica on a free transfer.

Ugochukwu Oduenyi, who was officially signed by Javor Matis who play their matches in the Serbian town of Ivanica on January 17, 2022, played 7 matches at his last club Zhetysu, scoring a goal for the Kazakhstan side.

Speaking to the journalists after his unveiling in Serbia, Ugochukwu Oduenyi explained how gaining first-team experience away from other teams taught him the true meaning of football.

"I have learned so much from my loan spells and the different managers I have played under. Not just on the pitch, but off of it too; how to be a professional and apply myself.

"Playing at SV Horn and helping SV Ried promote to the Austrian Bundesliga really gave me a bit of confidence. Although Austria is a different ball game entirely in my opinion but I think they all help in shaping me", added Ugochukwu Oduenyi.

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Continuing, Ugochukwu Oduenyi said, "The Austrian league, and Kazakh league are a bit different. The way teams set up and the tactical aspects of both leagues demand different things from the teams and players. I think it's all about growth and all these leagues have given me something different."

Ugochukwu Oduenyi's loan journey started in August 2018 when he penned a two-year deal with LASK, an Austrian Bundesliga club and was loaned to NK Sesvete Croatian Second Football League. The loan ended during the winter break of that season and he joined SV Horn.

"Going down to the lower leagues, you are playing against people fighting for their mortgages, as they say, and it's true. Football is a real game; when you're losing games and conceding goals then it can really affect some players' lives. By going out on loan, you really feel how much it means", said Ugochukwu Oduenyi.

Speaking about his objective at his new club Javor Matis Ivanica, Ugochukwu Oduenyi said that he is happy and motivated because everyone supported and cheered him upon joining the team.

The ambition of most players if not all, is to be on the pitch especially for an African blood who always wanted to kick a ball at any opportunity despite the sub-par facility, willful blindness from leaders and pangs of poverty ravaging the black nation, they all want to make a name at the offshore of Africa and Ugochukwu Oduenyi is not an exception to this school of thought.

"I love to play football even without food in my stomach. But getting to Europe I realised that football is an investment for many, a source of income. So to be compensated for not making any contribution is not fair.

"No joy can surpass being on the field and making a contribution to achieve a collective success, it completes you as a player. I'd love to win the League, but to be rewarded without playing is not for me", added Ugochukwu Oduenyi.

The pacy center-forward is a product of the famous Emmanuel Amunike Academy. And as an institution that was founded by a Nigerian professional football manager and former professional football player who played as a winger, Oduenyi was nurtured on the principles that would prepare him mentally for the future career as a pro-footballe

Artmotion S.Africa

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