Benin boy to the core, from the streets to Sagamu, Denmark, and England, Frank Onyeka shares the grit behind the success we see today…
Brentford and Super Eagles midfielder Frank Onyeka shared the emotional story of his journey en route to the top, soccernet.ng reports.
Speaking on the Hindsight Podcast, the 25-year-old talks about his journey from where he grew up to how he finally moved to Europe.
“Contrary to popular opinion, I didn’t grow up in Maiduguri. I was born and bred in Benin City. I started with Flamingo football academy. Then afterwards, I went to Faith Motors Academy. Then I moved to FC Ebedei in Sagamu, Ogun-State, and from there, I got the opportunity to join FC Midtjylland in Denmark.” he said,
“The Tank” possesses insane energy levels when bossing the Bees midfield. Speaking about his journey from being a boy on the streets to playing in England, Onyeka said, “Honestly, it is not easy. People told me to quit football because there was nothing there, or I wouldn’t get anything, but I persisted and didn’t give up. I had to trek long distances to go to training. Sometimes I avoided taking the highway, so people wouldn’t see me and be like, I’m going to train again and remind me why I needed to quit. I had to take other routes that were lonely to get to training. So that was what I did every day, but thank God it worked out.”
The Super Eagles midfielder was invited for a trial by FC Midtjylland in late 2015 alongside two of his friends before eventually signing for the three-time Danish League Champions.
The midfielder finally moved to the English Premier League in 2021, and when he was quizzed about his reaction when he heard Brentford were interested in him, he said;
“I was told Brentford were interested, and they were about to gain promotion to the Premier League. I thought it was a joke, and I couldn’t watch their playoffs because I didn’t want to jinx it, so immediately they got promoted; my agent called me and told me they got promoted, and I was so happy.”
Frank described his move to the Premier League as a dream come true and applauded his teammate and English striker, Ivan Toney, for how special he was and his qualities.
Oyenka said, “As a player, the English Premier League is your dream, and you want to play with the highest quality players. There were offers from clubs in other leagues, but my focus was solely on the Premier League.”
And Toney? He added, “He’s so good, too good. When you mention Brentford, you mention Toney, the way he plays, scores, and protects the ball. I know we are lucky to have a player like HIM. Scoring twenty goals for a team like Brentford? Come on. He’s special.”
Onyeka made his Nigeria debut in October 2020, playing forty-five minutes against Algeria, and has set sights on becoming a familiar figure in Brentford’s starting eleven next season.