Mountain of Fire Ministries FC striker Sikiru Olatunbosun is the latest sensation in the 2016/2017 Nigeria Professional Football League season.
The striker did his rising stock no harm with a powerful volleyed goal in MFM’s 2-1 home win against league champions Enugu Rangers on Friday, February 24th at the Agege Stadium, Lagos in their Matchday-10 game.
The striker here speaks with Completesportsnigeria.com’s IZUCHUKWU OKOSI on a wide range of issues and reveals an intriguing choice for his NPFL best ever player. Excerpts.
Your fantastic volley against Rangers must be the best goal you’ve scored in your career, or have you scored a better one?
The goal I scored against Enugu Rangers last week Friday at the Agege Stadium is the best goal in my career so far.
I saw the positioning of the defender (Matthew Etim) so I knew that if I flicked the ball above his head, it will
take him unawares. I also saw their goalkeeper’s position.
Some fans still believe your wonder goal was a ‘lucky’ one. What do you say about that?
Well everybody is entitled to their opinions. I meant to hit the ball and score from that effort. The space was
there in their goalpost. The ball was on my left foot so I directed it to the other side!
Have you seen the playback of the goal on television (responds in the affirmative). How does that make you feel?
(Laughs) I’m happy for myself and the team in general. I hope to score a few more like that this season.
And congratulations Sikiru, the goal has been nominated by Cable News Network (CNN) for its Goal of the Week award. How does that make you feel?
Thank you. I’m excited by that recognition. If such a big organization can identify with my efforts that means I
should work harder.
MFM were in the relegation zone towards the end of last season. Did that have an impact on the team’s desire at the start of this season?
The position we found ourselves towards the end of last season is one I hope we don’t experience again. It was scary
really. Yes, the coaches and players, and management as well, met several times and we spoke about our fight for
survival last season and what to do on and off the pitch to ensure we do not find ourselves in that situation again.
Tell us where you have played for before?
Actually MFM is my first professional club. I have not played big football prior to my arrival here…
And would you like to be a one-club man?
(Laughs) I don’t know yet o but this is a great club. We want to keep our fans happy. I’m happy so far here.
What was the support like from your family as you took to football as a career?
Massive. I have always told my family I want to play football and they backed me all the way.
Why do you wear the jersey number 2, even as a forward player instead of maybe number 9? Any reason for picking the number?
No. I just love the number 2 jersey. There are players who have the ‘odd’ numbers at the back of their jerseys, take
for instance Asamoah Gyan of Ghana with the number 3, Nwankwo Kanu and Emmanuel Adebayor with the number 4 etc.
Your performances last season and so far this season must have reached the ears of Super Eagles coach Gernot Rhor and also clubs in Europe. What is your target, what do you hope to achieve this year?
My target actually is to play in the Super Eagles and in the near future the big clubs in Europe.
But do you feel threatened that the foreign-based players will deny you that chance to be in the national team?
Well the foreign based players started from somewhere before they were invited to the national team. But I know if
the chance comes for me I will play. I’m not afraid at all.
Nigeria will play against Burkina Faso and Senegal later this month (March, 2017) in international friendlies. You must be looking forward to them. If u missed being invited for those matches, will that affect your morale?
No, it won’t. Rather I will be working hard to impress the coaches by my performances. I think the 2018 African
Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifiers starts in July. That could be a good time to kick-start my international
Tell us your most difficult match so far this season in the league?
So far so good, I have not seen the difficult match this season really (laughs).
What do you think will be the ideal target for MFM this season; to play in the CAF club competitions or ensure you remain in the NPFL and not relegated, which one?
Apparently to play in one the CAF competitions preferably the Champions League. To ensure that, we have to win as
many games as possible, not just at home but also away matches.
Who do you feel is the all-time best player in the Nigerian league…which player is also your best in the Super Eagles, the very best of all times?
Chisom Egbuchulam who has left the Nigeria league for Sweden (BK Hacken) is my best all time player in the NPFL. He
is strong, quick and scores brilliant goals. Austin Jay Jay Okocha is my best all time Super Eagles star. Presently
though I’ll go for Victor Moses. Moses was the best Nigerian player last season. I like the way he plays, also very
fast with the ball. He is doing great with Chelsea now and undoubtedly one of their stars of the season in England.
And what of world football. Who is your favorite in your position as a striker?
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is my best striker in world football at the moment. I mean he’s even the world’s
best player officially. The guy is just awesome.
Sikiru, what’s your boot size?
Do you want to buy one for me (draws wide laughter) You can buy for me o, I won’t mind. Anyway I wear size 43…
Its a pleasure speaking with you and good luck against Katsina United later on Wednesday.