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Brent schoolboy star Uche Ikpeazu has Nigeria dream

PUBLISHED: 18:43 14 January 2015 | UPDATED: 18:43 14 January 2015

Crewe Alexandras' Uche Ikpeazu holds of a challenge

Crewe Alexandras' Uche Ikpeazu holds of a challenge

EMPICS Sport

Former Brent district team striker Uche Ikpeazu is determined to fulfil his potential for both club and country.

The 19-year-old is currently enjoying a successful loan spell at League One side Crewe Alexandra from Championship club Watford and grabbed a late goal in a 3-1 win against Gillingham on Saturday to lift the Railwaymen out of the relegation zone.

Ikpeazu, who grew up in Wembley, is pleased to be back playing regular first team football at Gresty Road, having also played for the club last season.

He said: “I’m really enjoying playing games again in the Football League and having the opportunity to show that I can score goals.

“It’s a really good club and has a great reputation for developing young players.

“The management staff believe in me, the players believe in me and I’m enjoying my football.”

Ikpeazu’s loan spell comes to an end on January 25 and, although he hopes to return to play a part in Watford’s push for promotion, the powerful forward is also keen to earn international honours.

His strike partner at Crewe, Nicky Ajose, switched his allegiance from England to Nigeria and, with Ikpeazu also eligible for the west African country, the duo could yet end up playing alongside each other for the Super Eagles.

He said: “I was born in England but I qualify to play for Nigeria as well and that would be my preference.

“Nicky is a proven goalscorer in this league, his movement is excellent.

“I’m more of a target man and we are working well together at the moment.”

Having represented Brent from Under-11 alongside Raheem Sterling, it wasn’t long before professional clubs were making Ikpeazu offers.

He said: “When I was in year seven and eight at school I was playing for QPR but in year 9 I went back to Nigeria to go to school so that was the end of my time there.

“When I came back to England I played for Brent again and then I joined Reading before signing for Watford.”

Brent Schools’ FA chairman Chris Ampofo is pleased to see Ikpeazu progressing in the professional game.

He said: “Uche is a goalscorer and a great athlete.

“If he is given the right support, encouragement and keeps learning he should do well. He’s an inspiration to other young players in Brent.”

Follow me on Twitter @RobBrennan82

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