Ahead of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) matchday 15 fixtures on Wednesday, Naijafootballplus.com caught-up with the league’s top scorer and Kano Pillars forward Junior Lokosa.
Lokosa who joined Kano Pillars from Nigeria National League (NNL) side, First Bank of Lagos last season during the midseason transfer window is the leading NPFL top scorer with 12 goals from 14 league matches.
In this chat with Naijafootballplus.com, the striker discusses how he started his career in Ajegunle, his dream move to Kano Pillars and his season’s target.
Naijafootballplus: How did football start for you as a career?
Lokosa: I started in Lagos at Ajegunle Tolu complex. It was tough growing up but football has always been my passion. You’ve so many reasons to be motivated in Ajegunle, the complex was always there for talented footballers to play and I started early in my secondary school days.
Naijafootballplus: How much support did you get from your parents?
Lokosa: My parents appreciated education but my zeal for football was always there, so after school football is next for me on the streets of Lagos. My parents had no option than to support my dreams, it was difficult at first for them to accept but I later got tremendous support from them. They supported me with kits and words that motivated me, they were always there to guide my move from the youth level, I appreciate their support.
Naijafootballplus: How was the experience for you in the NNL before moving to the top flight league?
Lokosa: I started my NNL journey with the Bridge Boys, it was an amazing moment for my career. I actually picked up the race as a professional player with Bridge Boys and we had an amazing season together. Then, I joined First Bank and it was a big moment for me, Lagos gave me a lot to cherish in my career.
Naijafootballplus: How would describe your move to Kano Pillars? Absolutely, the biggest move in your career.
Lokosa: I was just working hard at First Bank. I think Pillars had issue with front-line options and they heard about me in Lagos. I think their scout came to watch and study my performance of which I wasn’t aware they were monitoring my progress. I was just doing my job and hoping for a better move. When the offer came I was surprised but the offer came at the right time and kudos to First Bank management they allowed me move and help Pillars last season. Kano Pillars is big in Nigeria, an ambitious side with massive fan base. I am honored to play for the club.
Naijafootballplus: What is the secret behind your amazing scoring form this season?
Lokosa: When I joined the team in the second stanza last season, I scored decent numbers of goals and I was confident I will sustain the momentum. I am excited with the flourish of goals this season, I am benefiting from great team work. My teammates have contributed to my scoring form and we have been able to push ourselves into the contest for the league title. The burden as the league top scorer is huge but I am more concerned about Pillars winning the league title. We haven’t won a major title for years and we have been challenged to revive the moment this season.
Naijafootballplus: What is your goals target? Are you optimistic you will break Mfon Udoh’s record of 23 goals?
Lokosa: I don’t want to pressure myself with goals target, I want to make sure I score on every match day both home and away. Help my team to win games and stay top of our performance, with due respect to Mfon’s record I have my own target and I am working towards it.
Naijafootballplus: What do you think of the NPFL and NNL, which league is tougher?
Lokosa: NPFL is the elite league with passion and great competition among big clubs. NNL is good for development but NPFL is tougher with the challenges to achieve results and pressure from all quarters. I had great time in the NNL but I am enjoying NPFL more.
Naijafootballplus: FC Ifeanyi Ubah is next for your team on Wednesday, you had an injury scare in Ilorin against Kwara United. What is the latest on your fitness?
Lokosa: I am fit now, I was able to recover quickly. It was just a minor knock. I am back to help my team, we are playing against a team who are not comfortable on the log and such games are dicey to play. We have to focus and return to winning ways, we need to catch up with Lobi Stars on the log.
Naijafootballplus: How shocking was the death of Chinedu Udoji?
Lokosa: We are yet to recover from the death of the senior man, Udoji’s death was shocking. It was a tough period for the team and fans, Udoji is a passionate player and a great leader. We are missing him and the club won’t forget him till eternity. We have resolved to fight hard and win the title for him. A legend is gone!
Naijafootballplus: Thanks for the conversation. We wish you all the best this season.
Lokosa: Thanks, I am honored.