Super Eagles and Lobi Stars forward Tony Okpotu in this exclusive interview with Naijafootballplus.com in Takoradi, Ghana revealed his delight after emerging as the NPFL top scorer in the just concluded league season.
The 23-year-old also shared his desire for the ongoing WAFU Cup in Ghana and his target with the National team.
Okpotu finished the NPFL season as the top scorer with 19 goals scoring three amazing hat-trick. He picked the hat-trick against MFM FC in Makurdi as his best.
Naijafootballplus: Good day Tony Okpotu, how is the WAFU Cup experience so far after two games?
Okpotu: Yes, we are fine. Great game we had against Sierra Leone, excited we won despite the stress and without any training. Mali was a bit tough but we came out with a decent result. We are looking forward to the third game today, hopefully we can get a win. The atmosphere is the same with Nigeria, it was easy for us to adapt with the weather.
Naijafootballplus: How prepared is the team for today’s must win game against Guinea?
Okpotu: We have done everything possible within our reach and we have trained hard. We have been able to work on our lapses from the previous games and we are better now. We are hoping for the best today and a win will make us smile.
Naijafootballplus: Are you not worried that after two games you have not scored in the green and white colours?
Okpotu: I was suppose to be worried about not scoring in two games for the national team because I am the top scorer from the league. It is normal in football, some days are like this. I am hoping I will get on the score sheet today, but I am not under any pressure to get goals. The collective progress of the team is more important, I will continue to work for the
team and the goals will surely come at the right time.
Naijafootballplus: How will you describe the out gone season in your career?
Okpotu: It was a great achievement for me to finish as the league top scorer with 19 goals, but I would have preferred a team victory, winning something as a group. I thank God for the success, it was a huge season for me. All thanks to my teammates, coaches, management and the fans for the amazing support, without them I wouldn’t have achieved anything.
Naijafootballplus: How was the top scorer challenge with Stephen Odey of MFM FC?
Okpotu: I was not aiming to be the highest goalscorer, I was just doing my job and helping my team to win games. I get paid for scoring goals, in between the process my goals and hard work took me far. I am excited to finish the season with the top scorer award.
Naijafootballplus: You scored a hat-trick three times this season, which one was your best?
Okpotu: It is amazing I scored a hat-trick three times this outgone season, I think that was the moment I knew I will finish among the top scorers. All the hat-tricks were good, but the one against MFM would be my best because of the first goal I scored in the game. It should be my best goal of the season, I have been practicing free kicks in training and I was happy I got it right against MFM.
Naijafootballplus: You won the league’s golden boot, but your team didn’t finish with a continental ticket. How do you feel?
Okpotu: I wish I could get a double, win the league or finish with a continental ticket but football doesn’t give you everything always. We are better this season, we hope to improve next season and finish among the best three teams if not winning the title.
Naijafootballplus: A move abroad or the CHAN tournament next year, which one will you consider first?
Okpotu: It will depend on how everything works out, I have to consider my options and choose the best for my career. I will consider the best option. Both will be great but I can’t have the two at once, let’s wait and see what God has got for me.
Naijafootballplus: What is the team target in the WAFU Cup?
Okpotu: We are hoping we will finish as champions, it won’t come easy
but we are hoping for the best in the tournament. We want to win the WAFU
Naijafootballplus: Nice talking with you Tony Okpotu, we wish you all the
Okpotu: Thanks very much, I am honoured.
Photo Credit: LMC Media