Former Flying Eagles midfielder Kingsley Sokari opens up exclusively to Completesportsnigeria.com's IZUCHUKWU OKOSI on why he chose to sign for Tunisian club, CS Sfaxien, after a move to another Tunisian side Esperance failed. The player who last played for Nigerian league champions, Enyimba, also spoke on his inability to play in the 2015 CAF U-23 Cup of Nations and his dream for the year 2016…
How was the reception like when you arrived at CS Sfaxien and how are you finding your new club so far?
I am happy with my new club because they showed seriousness in signing me. I had always wanted to sign for a club that will appreciate me and give me playing time and I'm confident that I can get that here. The fans received me well too.
You were expected to sign for another Tunisian club, Esperance, but rather you will play for their rivals, Sfaxien. Would it be a case of revenge when you face them?
Esperance could have worked but that apparently was not meant to be. Yes for sure, I will love to score against them and give a good account of myself when we face them.
Does the presence of another Nigerian player at the club, Junior Ajayi, influence your decision to sign for Sfaxien?
Not really. Nigerian players though are respected in Tunisia because of players like Michael Eneramo. However it is good to have a brother in the team and I hope to be successful with the support of Junior Ajayi. He is a brother in a foreign land and I'm lucky to have him as a team-mate.
How would you compare the Tunisian league with other leagues in Africa in terms of playing style, organisation and structures?
The Tunisian league is of high standard. The quality of players and infrastructures are world class. I've only just arrived recently but I've seen enough to know that what we have here is better than most European leagues.
Will language difficulty and weather in Tunisia be a factor in your performance in the beginning? Will you employ a language teacher to put you through their language?
The weather is cold but I love it! I won't employ the services of a language teacher but will learn fast from my team-mates.
When the deal to take you to Esperance broke down, were you worried it would take some time for another big club to knock on your door soonest?
I was not worried because I was happy at my former team, Enyimba. We won the league. I was excited by Enyimba's achievements and reputation. And also because I had never won the league before, so I really achieved a lot at the club.
You are a midfielder, who do you look up to in the game and which areas do you want to improve on your game?
Barcelona's Andreas Iniesta has always been my favourite player in world football. That was my nickname in the Nigerian league. As for African footballer, it was Austin 'Jay Jay' Okocha. I need to improve everyday all aspects of my game because a good player always gets better.
Yo were not part of the U-23 team in Senegal and your fans were disappointed but what is your expectation for the Olympics?
I was not part of the team and I was not happy I didn't go. I'm sorry for my fans also because I felt disappointed but all the same I'm happy we won the AFCON and kudos to my team-mates and the coaches for a good job. The Olympics is a great tournament. I will be happy to be in the team coach Siasia will pick.
I want to say I'm sorry for everything in the past. I want to make up for missing the competition in Senegal with a good outing at the Olympics. I plead he gives me another opportunity.
Finally which player do you expect to win African Footballer of the Year and do you feel any Nigerian player will win it soon, after a long time since any Nigerian footballer won the prestigious award?
It will be too close to call. We might think it will be Yaya Toure again but it could turn out to be Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Andre Ayew. Hopefully Nigerian players will win it soon too. Its been quite sometime really.