Monday, July 08, 2013

Nwanna thankful to Enyimba

Veteran forward Emeka Nwanna (pictured second left and in flight) says he will never forget his renewed experience in Aba after helping his side to a 1-0 victory over Rangers in the Glo Premier League on Sunday.

Fondly called Ayaya, the legendary striker who first featured for Enyimba more than a decade ago showed no signs of slowing down when he headed past Ugonna Uzochukwu to put Enyimba in the driving seat against their rivals and his old club.

Coincidentally, it was Rangers that Ayaya made the famous N1m switch to Enyimba from and he went on to help The Elephants to back-to-back Caf Champions League titles in 2003 and 2004.

Speaking to after the game, he had nothing but praise for the club that made him a household name in Nigerian club football and the fans for showing incredible love.

"It's been a very special and emotional day," said Emeka "because I made a successful return to Enyimba and help them defeat Rangers in my opening game. You know Rangers is my old club.

"I scored in my very first match for Enyimba and to score again today (Sunday) is very special to me. I have no words to describe it.

"It is clear that Enyimba is a special club and it is because of their fans and the people of Aba. From the first day I arrived I was shown much love and respect and it has helped me fit into the team again.

"I thank God for everything and thank Enyimba for giving me the opportunity again, for believing that I can still help the team. I also thank the fans for their big, big support.

"It's the start of a new chapter in my career and I look forward to it. The coaches are very good, the players are very talented, so it is going to be a great journey for me and I will never forget it."

Born in Abia State, Nwanna started his football career with the Enyimba feeder team and moved from there to Mobil Pegasus in 1993. He joined Calabar Rovers in 1997 before switching to Enugu Rangers a year later. He spent four seasons with Rangers before joining Enyimba in a record transfer deal of N1 million in 2003.

His return to Enyimba on a season-long loan deal raised doubts but he effectively dispelled fears of his ageing legs with a decent performance and a sumptuous goal.

But despite his goal, there were subtle signs that his best years are behind him. Nwanna is clearly at the twilight of his career but this return to Enyimba highlights one of the most remarkable yet understated careers in Glo Nigeria Premier League history.

(Culled from

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