As the football circle in Nigeria begins to take shape, a country rich with great young talents who are able to change stances of matches. We talk to Alex Dozie, an aspiring young player about his journey and dreams of becoming a pro.
What are your names?
Alexander Dozie Ekwunife
How old are you?
19 years of age
Tell us about yourself
I’m an origin of Eziowelle in Anambra state, but I was born in the Western side of Nigeria, Aguda Lagos state to be precise.
Had my primary and secondary school education at Radiance High school Lagos state, no undergraduate degree.
With my love for football, I usually train at different locations in Lagos, then one day on my way to training I saw a poster outside Surulere stadium, about admission into Barcelona academy, decided to make enquiries. Made enquiries, told my dad who has been supporting my passion to play football about it, so he paid for me and I went for trial, got picked.
Started playing for FCBSCOLA, for some period of time, a trial was done for promotion into FC Bulmaro, I go tried and was promoted, and now I’m a professional footballer who plays for FC Bulmaro in Nigeria.
We’re currently in the third tier of the Nigerian football. I play as a centre back and as left back. At FC Bulmaro, we have participated in different tournaments within and outside Nigeria, such as the mediterranean international cup competition in Spain.
What’s your favourite team?
Manchester united is my heart
Why the zeal to start a football career?
I’ve always been passionate about football from a very young age. I and my brothers used to make footballs with paper and seal tape then have a kick around in our sitting room, destroying so many things and pretending we were innocent. It has always been part of me so I decided to go pro. We used to do the same outdoor with friends and relatives too.
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Personally I’ve always wanted to go pro, but most African parents aren’t in support of that. They see other kids with aspirations to become doctors, lawyers, engineers, pilots and so on. Then theirs wants to go pro in football? Nah.. They don’t support that most times because they feel it consumes most of your time and renders you inoperable. But I think another factor in play was the fact that my dad played football so it just got the job easier.
What’s is your position on the pitch?
Centre back/left back
What is your preferred foot?
I’m left footed
Tell us about your current team FC Bulmaro and how you got into the team?
FC Bulmaro is a professional team that currently plays in the third tier of Nigerian football. It was formally known as BLAUGRANA SPORTS INTERNATIONAL. It was founded in 2018. I got promoted from FCBESCOLA Lagos (Barcelona Academy) to FC BULMARO.
What stage are you at currently and how often do you play/train weekly?
We are preparing for the FA Cup and the new season coming up later this month. We train on Mondays to Thursdays then play friendly games on Fridays.
You said you’re a fan of Manchester United, how long have you been supporting Manchester United now?
Since I was five. Mum used to buy disk plates that contained Manchester United games, highlights and player profiles. I used to sit on the couch with my elder brother to watch those games.
Which team in the world would you love to kick start your professional football career?
Sevilla FC. It’s that simple
As an aspiring footballer, what major titles are you looking forward to winning?
The UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, WORLD CUP, AND LA LIGA
Which current footballer would you love to play alongside with and against, if given the opportunity?
I’ll love to play alongside Benjamin Mendy and against Ousmane Dembele.
May we ask why?
Benjamin Mendy is really talented and he’s someone I learn my trade from, Ousmane Dembele is going to be a real challenge, because he’s an intelligent player and can be dangerous with both feet.
Do you have any milestone or events that you are particular about?
Yeah sure I do
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Can you state them?
When I retire from football I want to be recognized as the greatest block in the ministry of defence.
I want to be part of the best that has ever worn a football jersey, and also my dedication and humility, most importantly bringing players to God.
Have you represented any local team before? If yes which team.
No I haven’t
As an aspiring footballer, what are your goals?
Basically, my goals are to get to the peak of football and represent my country in the World Cup.
Who do you look up to that keeps you motivated?
Benjamin Mendy, Ferland Mendy and Mamadou Sakho.
How do they motivate you?
Looking at their struggles and where they came from gives me the fire to keep going harder.
Where do you see yourself in next five to ten years from now?
I see myself in the big stage. Playing amongst the best of the best
When you say big stage, what exactly do you mean?
Dominating in the biggest of clubs.
Share with us your most embarrassing moment.
I’m trying to remember
On the pitch or off pitch?
I had one back in high school when we were told to put on our native wears, I didn’t have any so my dad forced me to wear his because I needed to get my results from the school and take them back home. It was devastating. I was like a 7 year old in his dad’s clothes. I couldn’t even walk down to the school ground but the principal forced me to. All eyes were on me man. It’s funny now but wasn’t funny then. My dad told me it looked good on me.
Do you have any personal motto or words of wisdom that keeps you motivated and inspired, that you’d love to pass on to other aspiring and passionate footballers out there?
Everyone got time, keep praying, working, be humble and patient…
Who do you regard as the greatest player to ever play football in history and presently?
May we ask why?
It’s obvious.. He’s magical and still hardworking
What is your best food?
Rice with turkey
How best do you think we can develop our sports, especially football in Africa and in Nigeria particularly?
I personally think we should let the Europeans/North Americans that are more experienced in this field, come into Africa to impact more in African sportsmen and women. Gone are the days of physical football. It’s all about the cognitive and technical aspect now. This is something most African footballers and coaches don’t seem to recognize.
Do you feel that would be the ideal solution for an improvement to our sports here in Africa and Nigeria?
I feel at least it’s a good step towards improvement.
What’s your view on the fight against racism, and how best do you think it can be stopped at least to the barest minimal?
I think people that are found guilty of this should be totally banned from attending games.
What measures do you think will be helpful in protecting match officials/teams in the Nigerian Professional Football League?
The security should be good enough.