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Interviews

Introducing Ify Ofoegbu

20 October 2017

Versatile academy player Ify Ofoegbu is relishing the challenges that have been thrown his way during his time with Chesterfield and is determined to earn a professional contract following his first team experiences.

The young scholar is in his second year at the club and is now a key player in a side who are currently enjoying a terrific run of form – with three wins from their last three matches.

"We've been learning some new tactics and different ways of playing. It's paid off in games like Blackpool and we had a really good game against Burton Albion where we dominated. We took charge and got a good result out of it," he said.

Ofoegbu has been impressing with his performances and attitude since arriving at Chesterfield and one of the people who will no doubt be pleased with him is Miguel Llera, a man Ofoegbu has plenty of praise for.

He commented: "He's made a massive impact on us because everyone is enjoying playing under him.

“The way he's set it out to play makes more sense and everybody knows what they're meant to be doing now. It's a lot more clearer and that's why we're winning games."

Originally an attacking player, Ofoegbu has had to play in a more defensive role for the Spireites after arriving from Huddersfield Town as a scholar.

He played at right back for the majority of last season but claims playing in an unfamiliar role has benefitted him hugely, because since Llera arrived at the club Ofoegbu has been moved back to a role higher up the pitch, an area where he feels he can convey his strengths more.

"As time has gone on I've adjusted to it and it's good for me because it's made me more versatile,” he said: “I can play in different positions and I'm fully equipped for it so I don't mind.

"I'd say my best position is right wing or left wing because of my speed and power. I like to dribble on the ball which I can't really express at right back because you want to keep it simple."

Ofoegbu became the fifth youngest player to play for the Spireites first team when he made his debut in the Checkatrade Tropy last season aged 16. The realisation of seeing his shirt in the dressing room for the first time was obviously a special feeling.

"It's mind blowing because it's something that you dream about and you can't imagine it until it's come," he said.

It's experiences like those which Ofoegbu can't wait to get more of as he looks forward to the prospect of securing a professional contract.

"I'm massively determined. I just want to impress the new manager and hopefully I get good feedback and I'm offered a contract. I just want to get straight into the first team and get some league appearances and get myself known," he added.

As well as first team desires, he also hopes to represent Nigeria, the country of his birth. "That's something I want to accomplish. I'd like to play for Nigeria internationally," Ofoegbu revealed.

By playing for Nigeria, Ofoegbu could potentially follow in the footsteps of one of the players he was inspired by growing up. "I used to watch Robinho a lot, and Jay-Jay Okocha. Okocha is Nigerian and my Dad was a huge fan of his," he said.

For now, however, the focus is firmly on Chesterfield as the youth team prepare to face Oldham Athletic next Saturday, October 28.

The two teams met in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup on October 7, with the Spireites winning 3-2 and Ofoegbu and his team mates are confident of extending their winning run.

He added: "We know what they're about and they know what we're about, but we know where we can get those mistakes out of them on the pitch."


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