MFM FC striker Stephen Odey has apologised to his club after his controversial trip to Danish club Midtjylland this past week, according to coach Fidelis Ilechukwu.
NPFL leading scorer with 14 goals, Odey has returned to Nigeria after undergoing trials with Midtjylland, who have allegedly said they will not offer him a contract due to age discrepancies.
“He is small boy, he has made a mistake and he has returned and has apologised to the management,” Ilechukwu said.
“As a manager, I manage success and I manage crisis and so at this point in time, I have to carry him along as my son.”
The MFM coach maintained Odey was deceived to try out in Denmark, but it will be the decision of the club if he were now to be sanctioned.
“Eighty percent of the mistake was not from Stephen Odey, he was deceived,” the coach defended the young striker.
“The most important thing is to make this boy understand he is a top player and he does not need to go on trials because it’s an insult to our league.
“I hope by now he has realised his mistake.”
He added: “It will be the decision of the management if the player will be sanctioned, but to me as a father, he’s a child you cannot throw away because of his mistake. We are not perfect and we can correct our errors.
“He’s also an important player to the team, but whatever the decision of the club, we will find a way around it. But no player is indispensable because we signed 13 strikers. So, in his absence, some other players can fill the gap.”
Ilechukwu also narrated an interesting story of how the youngster now valued at $1 million by MFM FC was initially rejected by the small club as “a small boy”.
“When I first brought Stephen Odey (to MFM), he was rejected. They said he is a small boy, you can’t bring this boy here, we don’t need him,” the coach recounted.
“When I brought him, I was hiding him inside my camp because the management said we don’t need this boy because he is a small boy. I hid him inside the camp when there was management meeting because I didn’t want them to know he’s around the team.
“I brought him up and now people are claiming him, that’s unfair.”