In our Star Check series, we caught up with Flying Eagles captain, Ikouwem Utin who plays for Maccabi Haifa in the Israeli league. The former Enyimba right back was one of the best players in the NPFL before his move to Israel.
Hello Ikouwem Utin, how is Israel and the COVID-19?
Thank you very much, it wasn’t easy to be at home all the time but I give God the glory because when there’s life there is hope, there was a time people will asked to go out only to buy foodstuff at the supermarket and also a time you only have to be 100 meter from your home.
How did you cope during the lockdown?
I thank God for life because its also going to be history soon.
How did you maintain physical fitness during the lockdown?
I always work out at home with spinning bike or zoom training with the rest of the team.
Are you worried about the growing number of cases back home in Nigeria?
Actually, the way the cases of COVID-19 is rising every day in Nigeria, people have to be very careful to prevent themselves from contacting the virus, health is wealth.
What’s the most challenging thing you’ve faced since moving to Israel?
In life there is always a difficult or hard time, so this pandemic is the most difficult time I think.
You scored your first goal for Maccabi Haifa last week, what are your immediate targets as football resumes?
My target at Maccabi Haifa is for me to play more games which I believe with God all things are possible.
How is your relationship with other Nigerians playing football in Israel, was there any of them that helped you adapt when you first arrived in Israel?
Have not meet any of them yet but I will soon see them.
As captain of the Flying Eagles, do you still maintain contacts with your U20 teammates?
Yes, with the Under 20 players, we always communicate.
Any message for the fans back in Africa?
Stay safe, health is wealth.
Thank you for your time Ikouwem Utin. Best wishes as you prepare for the next game.
Copyright 2020 The Athletic NG. Permission to use this article or any part of it is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.theathletic.com.ng as the source.