Tuesday, 17 July 2012

TWINTERVIEW: Moses Ashikodi

There's little about the 2009/10 season which Ebbsfleet United fans will look back on with any real fondness, but Moses Ashikodi's fiery spell is one exception. The Lagos-born striker, who arrived in January, quickly formed a partnership with Magno Vieira and the pair's crackling form gave the Fleet faint hope that relegation might not, after all, be the certainty it had appeared at Christmas. Ashikodi, who had been released by Kettering Town, scored 11 goals in 16 outings for Liam Daish's side, immediately looking at home.

When the club dropped into Blue Square Bet South, Ashikodi did move on, but now he's back for a second crack as their leading man. Selected by England at four different youth levels, Ashikodi has played for Rangers, Millwall, Watford and Gillingham but nowhere is his striker record better than at Ebbsfleet. With three goals in the first two pre-season friendlies of the summer, it looks like the 25-year-old is picking up exactly where he left off two years ago. I interviewed Ashikodi during his first spell in north Kent and decided it was time to renew acquaintances.

Why did you decide to return to Ebbsfleet and how did the move come about?

I wanted to be back in London and playing for someone that knows me well, so I called the gaffer and now I'm here.
Your first game back was a friendly win over Tonbridge. How did you find it?

It was a good run-out for me and the boys. For our first game, we couldn't ask for a better start.

What's the best goal you've ever scored?

My best was for Bradford against Oldham.

You came off the bench to play in an Old Firm derby. What are your memories of that day?

Playing in the Old Firm was one of the best feelings, in front of 60,000 fans. All I remember was being scared.

What have you made of all the troubles at Rangers and the fact they've now been placed in the Scottish Third Division?

I think it's a bad time right now for Scottish football. With Rangers not being in the SPL, it's too easy for Celtic now.

Who's the best manager you've worked under?

I don't like to pick, but I would say Mark Cooper.

Are you a boxing fan? If so, what did you make of the weekend action involving David Haye, Dereck Chisora and Amir Khan?

I don't like watching boxing, but I did see the fight. I thought Khan was doing OK until he made a stupid mistake.

The Fleet squad has changed completely since you were last at the club. Is there a different feel about the place now?

Not really, it feels the same. Some very good young players.

Who are the best players you've played with and against?

I have played with lots of players like Micah Richards, Adam Johnson, Joe Hart, Ashley Young and Theo Walcott. I have played against big names like Ronaldo and Rooney, plus many more.

You've represented England at several age groups. Can you describe what it's like to pull on the Three Lions? Memories of those days?

It felt good to play for England and to know you're one of the best young players at the time. It also helped when I was scoring in every game.

How hot do you have your chicken at Nando's?

I have my chicken hot.

Have you caught the Olympic bug yet?

I'm not really a fan of Olympics, but I'm looking forward to the football.

Am I right in thinking you played for Sheen Lions as a kid? Was that a successful side?

Sheen Lions was Millwall. They played on Sunday, so if you didn't play on Saturday, then you were playing on Sunday. I loved it.

Somebody wanted to know if Barnes Eagles were your rivals - and did you regret not playing for them?

I don't know who Barnes Eagles were, lol. Good name though.

Who are your best friends in football?

I don't have a best friend in football. I have a lot of friends that play football and I love them all the same.

What memories do you have of your first spell at Ebbsfleet?

Scoring a goal almost every game. I'm joking, great fans.

Of all your team-mates, past and present, who was / is the most skilful, the worst dressed, the hard man and the biggest moaner?

Most skilful has to be Adriano Moke (Cambridge). Worst dressed - Ian Roper (Kettering). There's no hard man around me, I'm the boss lol. Jon Challinor (York) was the biggest moaner.

Finally, what are your hopes and dreams for the season ahead - individually and for the Fleet?

I hope I score lots of goals. My career isn't over yet and I still have my eyes on the League. I hope the club can finish higher than last season.

You can follow @MosesAshikodi on Twitter

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