The dream of every striker is always to find the back of the net. That is the primary reason why they are signed. Unfortunately, every striker experience goal drought along the journey of their career. Edema Peter, a striker with Gbagada FC, Lagos Nigeria, shared his experience with me in an exclusive chat recently.
“In my first season with Gbagada FC, it wasn’t so easy for me. I went through the entire season without scoring a goal. It was a difficult moment in my career. There were days I went home after a match, feeling so empty and unhappy”
The truth is that world-class strikers also experience goal drought along the way. Take the case of Saido Berahino, who was so clinical in front of goal for West Bromwich Albion scoring a total of 35 goals in 100 appearances. He however went 48 games without scoring a goal. One of the longest goal droughts in the Premiership.
This season has however been good so far for the Ondo State-born goal-poacher Edema Peter, who is currently on top of the goal scorers chart in the Creative Championship with 5 goals. He is brimming with renewed confidence in front of goal, as he spearheads the Gbagada FC attack.
A graduate from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Edema emerged as the most valuable player during his National Youth Service in Ekiti State. The eldest of four kids, he was quickly snapped up by Nigeria National League side Ekiti United, who gave him a 2 years contract.
Things did not however turn out as expected for the big No9, as he got a knee injury that kept him out of the game for 7 months. It was a huge blow to his footballing career, as he never got to play for Ekiti United.
“Sometimes, things happen for a reason. When I got injured immediately I signed for Ekiti United, the pain of not playing for several months was so much. I struggled to fight my way back from injury, and it was not easy”.
In 2018, things turned around for good as he got an invitational trial with Gbagada FC, and after a few matches with the Lagos-based side, he was signed on. The excitement was immense, as he had the opportunity to once again blossom in his football career.
At first glance, one is tempted to think Gbagada FC is a club in Europe. Seeing the amazing set-up within the club, ranging from the branded team bus, beautiful pitch, customized jersey, standard Gym, and dressing room. The professional touch can easily be seen from within and outside the club.
The professional touch currently in place at the club has been birthed by the owner and manager of the team- Akinyelu Olajide. He has been the brain behind the amazing development taking place within the team.
Asked about the impact the manager has had on his career, Edema Peter didn’t mince words: “He has taught me all I have learned till date. Always patient with me, even when the goals weren’t coming. He has instilled so much confidence in me. This has molded me into a better person and a better striker in front of goal”
Gbagada FC, no doubt has got so much going for them. This has seen a plethora of official partners, helping them to achieve their cooperate goal as a team. As of the last count, the team has a total of six official partners:
Edema Peter resurgence in front of goal saw him recently, scoring his first professional hattrick for the Lagos based side in a 3-3 draw against Iganmu FC in an entertaining encounter that saw the striker showing his prowess in the air with two well-headed goals and a well-taken penalty kick.
He later dedicated the hattrick to his late Dad and inspiration. Describing the dad who died in 2014, as someone who gave him the foundation he presently enjoys academically. An immense inspiration in the early stage of his life.
“Dad was always there for me when I needed him. He was a journalist, and was interested in sports, and helped encouraged me in my football career. My Mum who is an Orthopedic doctor has also been supportive. Always there to nurse me whenever I had injuries. Hopefully, she would enjoy the fruit of her labor when I make it to the top”
Asked about how he gets inspired for games, he never wasted time in responding: “Jamie Vardy of Leicester FC has always been my main motivation. I love the way he scores goals for his team and I usually watch clips of his goals before each game. I keep telling myself, that I can do it just like Jamie Vardy is doing it”
On a final note, he opened up on the essence of hard work and the need to keep striving and never give up on one’s dream. “The journey is not easy, because each day one is learning to become better. My target is to score about 20 goals this season, and I know with patience, hard work, and the help of my teammates and Coach Akinyelu Olajide, I will make it”
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