Ekigho Ehiosun has exclusively told SCORENigeria that he almost dumped football for education after a coach at Warri Wolves ordered him to choose between the two.
He also disclosed that he enjoyed his stay at Samsunspor as he talked about many things about his career.
The full interview –
SCORENIGERIA: How did your career started?
EHIOSUN: It is a very long way, but professionally I will say I started at Warri Wolves before I was called to Home-based Eagles camp in 2010, when we prepared for an invitational tournament in the USA called Obama Cup under coach Samson Siasia, but we could not play the competition because other invited clubs did not show up.
You played mostly in Turkey despite offers from other countries, what attracted you to play in Turkey?
I started in the city of Samsun for Samsunspor I was treated greatly. The way football is been running is great, the facilities and the fans are awesome. They love me and never stop to show that. I am treated like a king, they treat me like their own. Turkey has become my home and I love the place.
How was the experience when you first arrived Turkey?
It was not easy. Different in culture, weather, language and food are concern for me. I found it difficult to eat and I can’t talk to people around because of language, but Simon Zenke helped a lot as I learnt a lot from him. I can say he made me feel at home and my adaptation easier.
You played at different clubs in Turkey, where did you enjoy the most?
I will pick Samsunspor, though I had great times at other clubs too. Samsunspor is the first team I played for outside Nigeria and they treated me like we are family. They never wanted me to lack. They welcomed me with all their heart and I gave my best to the team.
You are one of the Nigeria players who combined education with football, how easy was this?
It was not an easy task at all. At that time I was in Warri Wolves and was asked by the coach then to choose from playing football and going to school. I didn’t even think twice as I left the camp that night.
Before that time I don’t want to play football again because I was dropped three times at a screening even when it was obvious I did well.
But I got a lot of messages on my phones that I have to come back because the chairman then Amaju Pinnick said the club don’t have problem with me, as I have been combining both without any issues.
It wasn’t easy for me at times I will be away from school for three months and only have to read for three weeks before exams, to God be the glory.
How did it feel when you got your first invitation to the Super Eagles?
It was joyful moment, one of my dreams came true. I was called by coach Samson Siasia after he watched me play for Warri Wolves against Heartland. My dad was so happy when I told him and my mother was excited that her prayers have been answered. It was great moment for me and my family.
You are called ‘Iron Man’, how did that name come about?
It was from way back. That name was given to me by people that watched me play then due to my style of play. They said I am as strong as iron. Someone that kicked me felt the impact and not me. So the name stayed.
When can you describe as you best moment in career so far?
With the national team, it was when I scored on my debut against Sierra Leone in a friendly. I was introduced to replace injured Emmanuel Emenike and I went on to score few minutes after I came on.
Another one was the day I scored a brace against Galatasaray. Galatasaray were an unbeatable then and Samsunspor also could not afford to lose that game so as to avoid relegation.
It was huge for me to score against best goalkeeper in the league, Muslera.
What are the targets you still hope to achieve?
I know I didn’t achieved a lot as I wished no thank to series of injury, but I don’t want to regret anything about football. I just want to enjoy the game while it lasts.
Are home-based players good enough for the Super Eagles?
There are quality players in Nigeria that can play for the Eagles, but that will depend on the coach. I will just advise any player from domestic league that gets a chance to use it well as he is representing all the players in the league as his performance can earn others chances or make others not to get consideration.
Thank for your time.
It’s my pleasure.