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Eddie Oshodi: I appreciated my life more after I retired from football

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 August 2016

Eddie Oshodi is enjoying life at Wealdstone. (Pic: Alan Palmer)

Eddie Oshodi is enjoying life at Wealdstone. (Pic: Alan Palmer)

Archant

Eddie Oshodi has admitted he took his career and life in general for granted in the past, but is now feeling as content as he has ever been on and off the field.

Oshodi retired from the professional game in February 2015 aged just 23, citing a lack of satisfaction with his progress, but he has since come back into the game, and after brief spells with Hemel Hempstead Town and then St Albans City last year, he is now on Stones’ books.

In a revealing interview the former Watford and England youth defender, says he is now much more at ease with how his life is going in comparison to previous years.

He told the Times: “Now I’m not thinking so much about where football can take me, I’m just concentrating on playing the game and most importantly enjoying it when I get out there.

“Before I was always thinking about how far can I get to in the game and what club I could be at. I used to get frustrated at times and think to myself ‘why am I not getting a move here?’ and I was taking things for granted.

“I used to look at other people and think ‘this guy isn’t better than me, why I am not playing at that level?’

“But now I realise it was a bit of arrogance and a little bit of ignorance on my part. Doing other things and travelling the world makes you realise the important things in life.

“I went out to Mumbai and the kids out there in the slums just play barefoot and they don’t have pitches and goals, they have to make do with what they have.

“I’m really content with my life now and with football too. I also teach at Wood End Park Academy in Hayes and have gone back to university to study psychology, as well as fitting in playing for Wealdstone.

“Now I’ve got a real drive for my life in general and not just football. I’ve also gone out to India and done some charity work, as well as Brazil. I realised how blessed I was to do what I loved to do.”

And while Oshodi has aspirations of getting back into professional football, it is not something which he is pinning all his hopes on.

He added: “Obviously I would love to get back into the Football League, but I’m just taking things one step at a time.

“If it happens, great – if it doesn’t I’m not going to be too disappointed because I know I work hard and enjoy what I do and Wealdstone is a good club with a great support base. It’s happy days for me right now.”

The 24-year-old has enjoyed the short time he has spent so far working with Stones’ veteran boss Gordon Bartlett, who has just entered his 22nd season in charge of the National League South side.

“Gordon is quality, he really knows his stuff,” said Oshodi. “I always joke with him and say “how long have you been at the club, like 40 or 50 years?”

“He’s a good manager and he knows how to get the best out of his players and he’s certainly been getting the best out of me. I’m really enjoying playing under him and long may that continue.”

Oshodi, who revealed Stones chairman Peter Marsden convinced him to join the club, believes the current squad are very capable of improving on last year’s 13th place finish.

“The likes of Danny Green and Elliott Benyon have been really good additions for us,” said Oshodi. “We’ve got to be realistic, but there’s a lot of quality in this squad, so we’re very hopeful.”

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