NorthEast United’s Nigerian striker Bartholomew Ogbeche is looking to make his debut in the ISL this season and wants his team to reach the playoffs.
The former Nigerian international, who had shared a dressing room with Brazilian legend Ronaldinho at Paris Saint-Germain, is hopeful that his side will finally make it to the top four in ISL this year.
He said, “I have been here for four weeks. We had a good preseason and got to know all the players. We played a match in Manipur and now we are in Kolkata for a week. My ultimate goal is to help the team on daily basis and achieve success. Hope to make it to top four this time. The team has the hunger. Hard work goes a long way and helps to get success. I am confident this season we will do well. “
Ogbeche mentioned that it will be easy for him to adjust under Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie as he has the experience of playing in the Netherlands.
He said, “ I had spent a couple of years in Spain and the past five seasons in the Netherlands. The Spanish and Dutch styles are very similar. Our coach comes from the Netherlands which makes everything easier for me. I understand what type of football he wants. So far it's been positive for me at the club.”
The striker further added, “It's a new challenge for my career. I have spoken to players like Rafa Lopez who played for FC Pune City last season. I heard a lot of good things about ISL. It is a massive challenge in my career. I hope the team qualifies for playoffs this year.”
The Nigerian whole-heartedly praised India and thanked the team management and coach for making him feel at home. “I have heard India is an incredible country. I am feeling at home courtesy the coach and the management. I am enjoying my stay. The icing on the cake would be to finish in the top 4,” said the 33-year-old striker.
Bartholomew has represented his country at the 2002 World Cup. Sharing his national team experience, he said, “As a youngster, I was incredibly lucky to represent the country (Nigeria). It was a dream to play with Jay-Jay Okocha. He was my idol. I learnt so much from him. I also played with Nwankwo Kanu. I have been blessed to play World Cup for my country.”