Former Kano Pillars, Lobi Stars of Makurdi, Sunshine Stars of Akure, FC Ifeanyi Ubah of Nnewi defender, Stephen Eze has revealed that a chain of factors that led to him joining Jamshedpur of India was ignited by a British coach, Owen Coyle, megasportsarena.com reports.
Speaking in the wake of his official unveiling by The Men of Steel on Thursday, Eze revealed that Coyle, who is now head coach at Jamshedpur, influenced his move to the Indian Super League side and the 26-year-old defender said he was happy to join the JRD Tata Sports Complex outfit.
The towering defender, who joined Lokomotiv Plovdiv of Bulgaria in 2018 and made 57 league appearances for the East European outfit before signing for Tobol of India in January, is now seeking a new lease of life at his new base, as injury stopped him from featuring in any competitive match for his former club.
Ahead of the new season’s kick-off, Eze has been handed jersey number 66 at Jamshedpur and the fair-skinned former home-based Eagles’ star disclosed that he has set a priority target for himself to help The Men of Steel to clinch the league title, which he acknowledged would only be possible if they win as many matches as possible.
Eze submitted: “I have been following the ISL closely and it is one of the most exciting and competitive leagues. I have seen the passion of the fans of Jamshedpur, which is why I’m excited and cannot wait to get started.
“My aim is simple, and it is to win. There have been some exciting signings with the club in the past few weeks and I look forward to working with my teammates and end the season with silverware (while laying under Owen Coyle).
“Owen Coyle is a top football manager who I have followed since my childhood when he was with Burnley, Bolton Wanderers and Wigan in the English Premier League. I look up to him and was elated at the prospects when this opportunity presented. He is clear in his vision and that made my decision easy.”
The gaffer also chipped in his thoughts about Eze, who has 13 Nigeria caps, and Coyle affirmed that the lanky stopper will add value to his squad; especially with his imposing physical attributes, which the coach believes would accord a lot of strength and balance to his defence.
Coyle said: “Eze’s presence in the dressing room will be absolutely uplifting for the squad. He is an outstanding young man and a real team player with a huge future for him domestically as well as internationally
“Eze will be crucial in making our defence strong. He comes with a solid reputation and representing a World Cup playing nation like Nigeria requires some serious talent. His towering personality and unyielding attitude towards the game could make him one of the best centre-backs in the ISL.”