Fatai Dragons midfielder, Oscar Nwimo reaching for the stars

By Nnamdi Okosieme
His touch of the ball reminds you of the legendary Brazilian star, Bebeto whose deft touches and mesmerizing runs helped Brazil win the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

It was for this reason that his teammates and fans have nicknamed him Bebeto.

Quick on the ball and slippery as an eel, Oscar Nwimo, the 18 year-old midfielder of Fatai Dragons FC in the Nigerian National League Division 2, has big plans.

He aims to make it big on the international football scene where he hopes to play for top clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid or Barcelona. For the moment he is setting his sights on the Nigerian Premier League where he hopes to play with Bendel Insurance FC, which is on the verge of sealing a place in the elite division after many years of absence.

Oscar with a team mate before a match at the Edo State University, Iyamho, Edo State

His love for Bendel Insurance runs deep. It is the club Cyril Okosieme, his grand uncle played for. Okosieme’s wife Edna, is the elder sister of his father, Nduka Nwimo, who passed on in 2015. Nduka himself was an accomplished footballer who played for the Eastern Nigeria Academicals before injury cut short his plans of making it big in the Nigerian league.

It is thus no surprise that of the many amateur clubs he could have played for, he settled for Fatai Dragons coached by his uncle, the retired wing wizard and former Nigerian international, Ndubuisi Okosieme.

Oscar in training

“As a child in Imo State I heard a lot about my uncle, Ndubuisi. Tales of his exploits at the club and national team levels thrilled me to no end. They said he could do almost anything with the ball. I wanted to be like him and I troubled my parents ceaselessly to allow me go and stay with him and my aunt in Benin.

“I have learnt quite a lot from him as a footballer. Though age is no longer on his side, he still possesses those magical skills that made him a household name in those days. He is a very good coach and through him our club has made it this far in the league,” Oscar said.

For Oscar who has himself been instrumental to the successes of the Dragons through his dexterity, and command of the midfield position, football is his life.

The young midfielder warming up before a match

“There are many things I could do in life but football is number one on my list. It is what I want to do more than anything else in life. God has given me the talent and I want to use it to the fullest extent possible,” said the graduate of the famous Edokpolo Grammar School, Benin, which produced world class talents like his uncle, Ndubuisi, Augustine Eguavoen, Augustine Igbinobaro, Roland Ewere, Wilfred Agbonavbare and many others who went on to play for top clubs in Nigeria and abroad as well as starring for the Flying Eagles and Super Eagles.

“As you know, it is every player’s dream to play for his national team. I am looking forward to getting called up someday but for now I want to prove myself. I want to show that I have what it takes to make it on the big stage. When I have accomplished that, I will now turn my attention to playing for the national teams,” said Oscar whose aunt, Nkiru Okosieme, captained the Super Falcons and played at three FIFA World Cups.

For now, Oscar is devoting his attention to maintaining his position in the Dragons squad from where he hopes to launch a career in the elite division of the Nigerian league.

“I want to play for Bendel Insurance. It is a club with a lot of history within and outside Nigeria. I hope I am able to make the cut this season. I am working hard towards it and I pray God crowns my efforts with success,” said the 18 year-old who has often been drafted to the left back position by Okosieme whenever the need arose.

“Oscar is a fantastic player. He is disciplined, hardworking and very talented. Because of his versatility, I often deploy him to various positions on the pitch and he has not once disappointed me. The time is coming when Nigeria and the world will hear from him”, Okosieme said.