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Sports News of Saturday, 30 July 2022


I believe Nigerian fans will support Nottingham Forest – Awoniyi

Taiwo Awoniyi Taiwo Awoniyi

Taiwo Awoniyi joined Nottingham Forest in a £17.5m deal some weeks ago and has begun to push for a cultural shift in the club’s Nigerian support base.

Like Jayjay Okocha helped Bolton Wanderers gain some Nigerian admirers in the early 2000s, Awoniyi is also looking to perform well enough and steer The Reds’ Nigerian popularity.

“The Premier League is very big in Nigeria because of players like Kanu, Okocha, Yakubu [Ayegbeni], [Joseph] Yobo, [Peter] Odemwingie, and many others who all played here,” Awoniyi told BBC Africa Sport.

“Many people pick their clubs depending on where a Nigerian is playing or which teams the family likes. We all grew up watching it and loved it, and it is actually a dream come true to know that millions will be watching me now.

“I want to give my best all the time and, by God’s grace, it will help us achieve our goals.”

The former Liverpool forward added that Nigerian football fans rally behind their stars, especially when their clubs play good football as seen in some examples.

Awoniyi has joined an illustrious list of Nigerian footballers to grace the Premier League.

“Our fans love to watch and support Nigerians playing in the Premier League, and I believe some of them will try to create a Nottingham Forest fanbase, too,” he added.

“I know Nigerians like some clubs already, but when you have one of their own and play attractive football, you will automatically get them on your side.

“I believe they will support us, and of course, I have my friends and family who were already waiting for me to play in England. It will be an exciting one for them.”