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READ | Focus returns to Championship survival for Chieo following international exploits

31 March 2023


READ | Focus returns to Championship survival for Chieo following international exploits

31 March 2023

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The recent international week has been a particularly proud one for Rotherham United and our supporters, who have seen no fewer than six players jet off to represent their countries on the world stage.

For any club to have six players called up for their country is an impressive feat, but for the Millers, it is a clear sign of the progress the club and team are making under Chairman Tony Stewart and first team boss Matt Taylor.

For some – in the case of the impenetrable Viktor Johansson – it was a first opportunity to join up with the national team and for others, like the experienced Shane Ferguson, it was just another cap to add to the collection.

However, having returned to Roundwood after starring in the Republic of Ireland’s matches against Latvia and France, flying forward Chiedozie Ogbene is looking forward to getting back to business with his club side.


Ogbene Ireland (2).jpg

Ogbene has enjoyed his international exploits since signing for the Millers


It has been well-documented that the attacker - who was lured to South Yorkshire by Head of Recruitment Rob Scott having worked with him at Brentford – is out of contract in the summer, but whilst a question mark may hang over that situation in July, Ogbene is desperate to make his mark in the here and now with Rotherham United.

"My number one priority at this exact moment in time is to help the club stay in the Championship, whatever happens in the summer is something to address when it comes around."

Chiedozie Ogbene, Rotherham United

"That is something that we want to do as a group and as individuals. It is something I'd love to be a part of for the club, my teammates and myself.

"The manager has been clear with his messaging in respect of our survival chances and we want to win as many games as possible - not just to survive by the skins of our teeth, but to be comfortably above the drop zone.”

The 25-year-old wasted no time in becoming a fan favourite at AESSEAL New York Stadium following his 2019 arrival and has continued to grow in stature ever since.

As well as being a popular figure off the pitch as a result of his infectious personality, it has been his performances on it that have really endeared him to the Millers faithful.

RU v Swansea City - 059 - Chiedozie Ogbene - Goal Celebration.jpg

Ogbene is mobbed by teammates as AESSEAL New York Stadium celebrates his goal against Swansea City earlier this season


Where other players set to be out of contract in the summer may possibly have their heads turned, it is the bond between the Millers fans and the Republic of Ireland international that has proven a key factor in Ogbene remaining fully-committed, no matter what the future may hold.

"I've never played for fans like Rotherham fans. They have been really welcoming and supportive of me from the minute that I walked through the door here,” he explained.

"It is a special place, and that is even more prominently the case when we play at AESSEAL New York Stadium. I see kids chanting my name and it is really special to be a person that feels like can make a mark in their lives."

Chiedozie Ogbene, Rotherham United

"They support me everywhere I go, no matter what. That has been even more prominent in the situation that I'm in with contract talks.

"I still get messages from people as if I have five years left here and that is the special bond that I have with the fans.

"It makes me so happy that we have that relationship because they have been so supportive of everything I've done since I've been here.

"This club will always have a place in my heart now and I just want to keep giving everything. We'll see where the future takes us as a team."

Ogbene will be justly proud of his journey from the League of Ireland to the Sky Bet Championship which has seen him recognised for his homeland at national level, but the fans of his club have shared that feeling seeing him lighting up the international stage with his lung-busting runs and silky footwork.

Recent photos and footage have seen the Lagos-born flyer pictured alongside Kylian Mbappe whilst he has also brushed shoulders with Cristiano Ronaldo in a recent game with Portugal.


Ogbene Ireland (1).jpg

Ogbene in action against Kylian Mbappe of France


Forever relentless in his approach to be the best version of himself, Ogbene knows that he needs to continue performing if he is to to progress as a player for both club and country.

"It has been a dream of mine to see how high my body can take me,” he continued.

"I think to go away with Ireland and put in individual and team performances like we did really makes you believe again.

"It makes you believe that maybe you are capable of playing on the best stages against the best teams. I know that you should never stop believing but you do have difficult days in football and I think when you go out and perform like that it makes it all a realistic target again.

"The difference at the highest level and lower down the pyramid is the consistency at which players perform - you have to be able to maintain that performance every single day and I think that is what I've learned from those experiences.

"These players don't just have one good game, they keep those levels up every single week and for me to get to that level is something I need to do.”

Chiedozie Ogbene, Rotherham United

Ogbene could return to action for the Millers this weekend when they travel to face Hull City in front of a sold out away end.

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