Good things will happen for Mohun Bagan - FPAI Fans' Player of the year nominee Odafa Okolie

The Nigerian goal machine finds himself a few goals short of envisaging the top scorer accolade this year but prioritises on winning trophies in the next term...
FPAI Indian Football Awards 2012
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Mohun Bagan striker Odafa Onyeka Okolie has been nominated alongside fellow countryman Ranti Martins of Dempo, Tolgay Ozbey and Sanju Pradhan (both of East Bengal), Salgaocar's Francis Fernandes and Air India's Manandeep Singh for the FPAI Fans' Player of the year award.

"I'm so happy for that," Odafa expressed in reply to being nominated but insists on setting his priority to end the Mariners three-year trophy drought.

"The most important thing is that we were supposed to win the I-League this year but we played too many draws."

With one match in hand, and having scored 25 goals, as compared to Ranti Martins bagging 31 goals with this season's I-League champions, Odafa put aside personal glory for that of the team.

"Top scorer means nothing for me when my priority was to win trophies at Mohun Bagan because we deserve that. It's more important that the team is happy and make the supporters happy," he said.

Although the Green and Maroon will not have the likes of Jose Ramirez Barreto in their ranks in the coming season, as the Brazilian has recently announced his retirement, Odafa still believes in a bright future for the club.

"Mohun Bagan have a good team, good players and good strength, but the problem is that we took too long to understand our players.

Watch out for us in good times to come...

"Mohun Bagan is not a bad team with players like [Sunil] Chhetri, Barreto, [Syed] Nabi... All Mohun Bagan supporters will miss Barreto because he's been a great player for them.

"He (Barreto) played for many years and did so well for for Mohun Bagan. Everybody will miss him."

Odafa continued, "I will stay with Mohun Bagan. Anybody who comes in place of Barreto, we will work together and and look to contribute together."

The 26-year-old jokingly added, "I don't have the chance to choose a player. I can play with Chima Okorie also, you know. I know he's a coach."

Talking about the expectations from fans, Odafa went on to state, "I know they (fans) want a lot from me. I try my best and so will the team also.

"Football is not just a one man show, it's about eleven in the same shirt. Self-confidence will be the key for next season and good things will happen for Mohun Bagan."

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