Nigerian left back Ikouwem Utin has told www.aclsports.com that he feels privileged to have won with new club Maccabi Haifa on his debut in a Europa League game on Thursday night.
Utin who joined the Israeli side from Nigerian champions Enyimba this summer featured for the whole ninety minutes of Maccabi Haifa’s 3-2 away win to NS Mura of Slovenia on Thursday, with his side advancing to the next round 5-2 on aggregate.
The 19-year old was very delighted after the win.
“I want to thank God for a successful game, featuring in my first Europa game for the club,” began Utin to www.aclsports.com
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He continued: “It is a great privilege for me that my first game for the club, we won away. It is a great privilege which I think has added more value to my career and me as a person also.”
He was on the bench as an unused substitute when both sides met a week ago in the first leg in Israel with right footed full back Raz Meir improvised at left back but the Nigeria Under 20 captain was thrown into the deep on Thursday night, bringing out a good result.
He says he will continue to work harder and hopes to achieve success with the club that has had Nigerians in the past (including Eric Ejiofor and Aiyegbeni Yakubu).
“I know it is my first time playing for a club outside Nigeria but I believe that with hard work and dedication, I can move mountains.
“I believe that this season, with the efforts of everyone at the club and what God will do for me, at the end of the season, we will come back with our league title and make a good impression in Europe,” said Utin who played all four matches for Nigeria at the last U20 FIFA World Cup in Poland.