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2013 AFCON winner targets Europe return after Hearts break

Super Eagles By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 15/10/2019

The 2013 Africa Cup of Nations winner Juwon Oshaniwa targets Europe returned after sour note on leaving Scottish side Heart of Midlothian.

The 29-year-old forgotten Super Eagles left-back move to Tynecastle Park in 2015 from Israeli club Ashdod on a three-year contract where he made 24 appearances in his first year in Gorgie.

However, Oshaniwa was released by Heart two years into his deal before teaming up with the Nigerian Professional Football League side Akwa United as a free agent but Ilorin-born speaking to Edinburgh News.

"I am a positive person and I don’t believe in failure. When you fall, you get up again. That’s what makes you a man.

"I cancelled my contract mutually with Hearts but it is not like I had a bad run with Hearts. The first year, I arrived after pre-season and the team still had the best defensive record in the league that season. We qualified for the Europa League. I played around 75 percent of the games.

"I don’t know what came up along the line with the team, but I must be honest with you: It’s a team I love with all my heart. I wanted to play for them and I did play for them. There are lovely people there and a lovely environment. Edinburgh is a place I can never forget.”

"If you are not playing, you find it depressing, you find it so bad, you are unhappy. But I am a professional. You don’t stop, you just keep moving.

"You can ask Craig Levein and he will tell you. I met with him in his office and I said: ‘What is the problem?’ He told me I had been 100 per cent professional. I don’t know what happened but I am not going to be the person to say: ‘I did not enjoy my period with Hearts.’ Not at all.

"I have not reached the final bus stop of my career yet. I have better days ahead for another six or seven years.”

"Craig Levein’s response was positive and I reached an understanding with him. We cancelled the contract mutually,” he says.

“I am back here in Nigeria to make a positive correction and just keep going. I am Juwon and I know a talent was deposited in me by God. I will use it with everything I have.

"It is not a fluke for me to represent a country like Nigeria, win the Africa Cup of Nations, go to the [2014] World Cup and play all the games for this great nation of 200 million people. I just need to pull up my head and go because life is up and down. It might not go the way you want but you don’t stop.”

"Akwa United is one of the best clubs with the best facilities and a good managerial set-up. That is why I came to play competitive football last season but as a free player. I did not sign a contract with them. They are now preparing for a new season but I am waiting to hear from my agent.

"As things stand, I am a free player. If anything comes up, I can just move. Of course I would like to come back to Europe.”

Juwon started his career with Kwara United before a spell at Lobi Stars, Sharks, Ashdod, Heart of Midlothian and Akwa United but the defender won 17 caps for Super Eagles.
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