African-Born Ogbene On His ‘Different Journey’ To The Republic Of Ireland Squad

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On June 8, Chiedozie Ogbene came on as a substitute in the 89th minute of the Republic of Ireland’s 0-0 friendly match with Hungary, marking a watershed moment for both player and country.

The 24-year-old Rotherham winger became the Republic’s first African-born player to earn a senior cap.

“It was a special moment for me and my family,” explained Ogbene, who was born in Lagos, Nigeria in May 1997.

“We had a different journey. My father got a job opportunity and brought his family across to settle in Ireland in 2005 and I grew up in Cork, learnt the culture and integrated with the system.

“Stephen [Kenny, Republic of Ireland manager] wanted me to declare for Ireland and I showed interest.

“There were a lot of complications with the registration and how I came into the country but to carry that title of being the first Africa-born player is very special.

Source: BBC Sport

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