Thursday, September 29, 2011

'Chicago' ponders Heartland future

He spent four seasons at Enugu Rangers and came close to winning the FA Cup now known as the Federation Cup in 2004 and 2007. In 2009, he forced a switch to southeast rivals, Heartland citing lack of ambition at the Flying Antelopes.

Today he has become not just the captain of the club but a cult-hero with the Naze Millionaires.

Chinedu Efugh also known as Chicago speaks on Heartland's cup-winning feat ending an 18-year wait of no domestic title in Nigeria. He also talks about his ambition in this interview with How happy are you being named MVP of the Federation Cup and winning Heartland's first title in 18 years?

Efugh: I feel very, very happy. We have worked hard for this moment. And it is good that I'm part of a side that made history by ending our run of winning no cup in Nigeria for close to two decades.

And personally it is a long-awaited achievement for me. I've played in the final of the FA Cup with Enugu Rangers and ended up losing twice. This team also played in the Caf Champions League final in 2009 and lost to TP Mazembe, which was painful. But now we've won something and it is a big boost for us. And you scored the winning goal. How special is this to you?

Efugh: It is the biggest goal in my career. A goal that won me my first big cup. And it isn't the first time scoring against Enyimba because I remember doing same against them in the Super Four about two seasons ago. We won the Super Four that year but you can't compare that to this cup because this is bigger. At the start of the Federation Cup this year, did you ever believe that Heartland would win the cup?

Efugh: Well yes if you ask. This team has got quality, top players. Most of us play for the national teams. Apart from that it is a blend of experienced players and young ones too. So I always believed we would win it (the Federation Cup). Why were so confident of winning the cup when in actual fact Heartland struggled in the league this season?

Efugh: The league is always different from the FA Cup anytime. Can you tell us as a player what makes the league different from the Federation Cup?

Efugh: The FA Cup involves so many teams from both the amateur and professional leagues. You will even find clubs from none of the leagues playing in it. It is also a knockout competition full of surprises. During the Federation Cup which team did you find difficult playing against?

Efugh: One team from Bauchi State called BRAC Waves. Why BRAC Waves which are a non-league side?

Efugh: The reason is that the pitch (at the Aper Aku Stadium in Makurdi) did not help matters. It made the match very difficult for us. And BRAC were tough to play on that bad pitch but thank God we won. Since BRAC were the toughest opponents, which team did you find easy in the competition?

Efugh: Dekina Dragons from Kogi in Enugu. It was during the group stage. We defeated them 3-0. Now that you've won the FA Cup with Heartland, what's next in your career?

Efugh: I need to move ahead with my game. Are you thinking of moving to a club abroad?

Efugh: Yes. Any offer for you yet?

Efugh: No. But don't you think it will be good to play in the Caf Confederation Cup next year with Heartland?

Efugh: I can't say for now only God knows. In this game anything can happen to footballers as we have seen in the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment