'I have no regrets about playing this season at Air India' - Elijah Obagbemiro Junior

The 27-year-old reveals that he is fine by playing in the midfield too, if it works out in the best interests of the team...
Air India striker Elijah Obagbemiro Junior terms his season with Air India as one with "no regrets" as the Nigerian explains the contrasts of not playing for one of the top clubs in the I-League.

"I have no regrets about playing this season here (at Air India) as it's another experience, although I had to subdue myself to a lot of things, but this is just part of a footballer's life," he told Goal.com.

"Having to work under three different coaches in one season is what made is so difficult for the players to settle well," Junior continued. "And also since the news about the team getting removed from the league next season came in the mid season, it has had a very negative influence on the team's performance, because since then, most of the players got nervous and thus had no motivation to play."

Air India are believed to be making last ditch efforts to convert themselves to Centram India FC, although the governing body of football in India, All India Football Federation (AIFF) are yet to consider the case. In the meanwhile, the players are desperate to seal a deal for the next season, as is Junior.

Where next?

"When I think about making a decision about where to sign next, I'll rather go to a club with a lot of pressure where I'll have more drive to do well," he said.

"I have a couple of options open at the moment in India and two in Europe. Two I-League clubs are interested so far and the European club (not named) too, but my first priority will be India because the financial aspect is brighter here. As you know in Europe, you pay a lot of taxes and the money isn't that great, except that you sign for a club in a top European country," he added.

"Of course, for now, I'll just do my professional duty of ensuring that I give my best for my current club in the last few games remaining," said the striker. "I have also played as a midfield this season for Air India," he stated.

"Since we are a team that plays only one striker, I had to be the one to drop in the midfield and help with most of the assists. But I'm fine with it as a player needs to be versatile. I can score goals when the chance is laid for me and am very good at assisting too. So it makes sense for any coach to ask me to play in the middle," Junior, who scored five goals in the I-League for Air India, reasoned.

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