Ejike: It was really bad at Downs

Now with the Urban Warriors after a short stint with Bidvest Wits at the beginning of the year, Uzoenyi spent a tumultuous time at Chloorkop where injury restricted him to just seven appearances across his two-and-a-half-year stay in Pretoria, finally parting ways with the club in January this year.

Although part of a big club with a name now renowned on the continent, Uzoenyi admits it was a difficult period which he was desperate to escape from.

“What can I say? My situation was really bad,” he tells KickOff.com of his time with The Brazilians. “I needed more game-time. I needed a place where I could get more game-time, a place where people could understand my situation and help me get back to my best.”

Having signed a four-year-deal with Ajax at the start of the current campaign, Uzoenyi has made just five appearances for the Cape club so far this term, with a recurring Achilles injury preventing him from being a regular in the side.

“All I’m working on now is getting to at least 70% of my level best, then I’m sorted,” he said Doctors have told me it’s going to take some time as I’ve been away for so long, but if I don’t manage it, I’ll be out again.”

Uzoenyi says he was grateful for the support and patience of now departed coach Stanley Menzo, who understood his situation.

“Stanley is a nice guy who works hard,” he says. “And he noticed hard-working players as well. He understood my situation and my injury, as I explained it to him, and had been trying to manage me as best as he could. We used to talk often.”

Ejike, who recently denied claims that he has cut ties with Ajax following reports of his departure, feels Ajax can still achieve success in the 2017/18 campaign despite their poor start to the season.

“Anything is possible,” he says. “All we need is to find the rhythm. If we get that rhythm, anything is possible. This is the PSL. To win something in South Africa is easy, if you have the strategy.”