Kolkata, March 19: Even after scoring nine goals in 12 matches for I-League club Sporting Clube De Goa in the last season, Odafa Okolie had to compromise by signing for I-League 2 side Southern Samity.
The renowned Nigerian striker, who once used to steal all the limelight in Indian football by his brilliant scoring ability, did not receive a single offer from any I-League club this season.
On asked if he was frustrated, Odafa smiled and replied: “I would not deny that fact that I was not frustrated but it is over.”
Commenting on reasons behind signing for a second division club, the 31-year old striker said: “I cannot earn without football.
"I must have to play somewhere. So, after waiting for the whole last year I saw only Southern Samity from Kolkata sent me offers. Naturally, I had to respect them and came here.”
But at the same time, the former Mohun Bagan and Churchill Brothers striker stressed on one point saying: “If one thinks that Odafa is finished and that is why he has come to Kolkata to play for second division club he will make a big mistake. I am still effective and dangerous in front of the box as I was before.”
Odafa revealed he had shed almost 10 to 12 kg weight by going through extensive fitness training throughout the last year.
Odafa continued: “I have done training at the gym. I ran hours after hours on the beaches in Goa. Even I have trained with football on the beaches with local boys to increase my endurance. Now I am fully fit."
Commenting on Sony Norde, the Nigerian striker who scored 92 goals in 91 matches in four years at Mohun Bagan, said: “After Chima Okorie and Jose Ramirez Barreto I was the superstar of Mohun Bagan.
"Now it is time for Sony who has been the key man of the green-and-maroon brigade. But Sony has one advantage that he gets passes from his colleagues like Katsumi, Jeje Lalpekhua. I did not have good passer in my time.”