Ikechi Anya

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Ikechi Anya
Ikechi Anya.jpg
Anya with Watford in 2014
Personal information
Date of birth (1988-01-03) 3 January 1988 (age 26)
Place of birth Glasgow, Scotland
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Watford
Number 21
Youth career
2002–2003 Oxford United
2003–2004 Wycombe Wanderers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 Wycombe Wanderers 18 (0)
2007–2008 Oxford City 17 (4)
2008 Halesowen Town 17 (0)
2009 Northampton Town 14 (4)
2009–2010 Sevilla Atlético 22 (7)
2010–2011 Celta B 35 (8)
2011 Celta 1 (0)
2011–2013 Granada 0 (0)
2011–2012 Cádiz (loan) 38 (5)
2012–2013 Watford (loan) 25 (3)
2013– Watford 50 (5)
National team
2013– Scotland 11 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 December 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 19 November 2014

Ikechi Anya (born 3 January 1988) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a right winger for Championship side Watford. Anya has previously played for Wycombe Wanderers and Northampton Town, as well as Spanish sides Celta de Vigo, Sevilla Atlético and Granada.

Eligible to also represent Romania, Nigeria or England internationally, he chose to play for the country of his birth, Scotland. He received his first cap for the Scottish national team on 6 September 2013, coming off the bench in a 2-0 defeat to Belgium and scored his first international goal four days later in Scotland's following match away to Macedonia.

Early life[edit]

Anya's father is a Nigerian research scientist of the Igbo ethnic group and his mother a Romanian economist. The couple met while studying in Bucharest. After finishing their studies, his parents moved to Scotland in the late 1980s for his father to obtain his doctorate in metallurgy.[1]

Anya was born in Glasgow, Scotland and grew up in the Castlemilk area.[2] His mother, Mariena, states that as a child Anya "..was kicking a ball in front of the house where he grew up in Glasgow from morning till night as a very young boy."[3] The family moved to Oxford when he was seven years old after his father got a job at the University of Oxford. Anya maintained his fondness for Scotland, stating that whenever Scotland played England he would cheer "Come on Scotland".[2]

His older brother, Chima, is a medical doctor.[3]

Career[edit]

Wycombe Wanderers[edit]

Anya joined the Wycombe Wanderers youth team in the 2003–04 season, having been released by Oxford United.

His performances in the youth team ensured that he was well talked about within the club, enough that he was given the number 28 shirt by then manager Tony Adams for the match at Southend United on 11 September 2004, becoming the club's youngest ever player at the age of 16.[4]

Like Russell Martin, he committed his short term future to the club, signing a two year deal in June 2005 and whilst at Wycombe won Apprentice of the Year at the inaugural Football League Awards in 2006.[5]

Non-League[edit]

He was released in the summer of 2007 and signed for Oxford City, before being snapped up in January 2008 by Halesowen Town. In the summer of 2008 he joined the Glenn Hoddle Academy and his contract expired in the summer of 2010.[6][7]

Northampton Town[edit]

On 28 February 2009, Anya signed for League One side Northampton Town. He made his debut as coming on as a substitute in the game away to Cheltenham Town on the same day.[8] His first goal for the club came as part of a 3–4 defeat against Swindon Town on 24 March.[9] His second goal came in the 92nd minute of the 3–1 victory at Leyton Orient, his goal wrapping up a victory in the fight against relegation for Northampton which they eventually lost.

Spain[edit]

Northampton manager Stuart Gray was keen to re-sign Anya on a long-term deal at the end of the season, but on 7 July 2009, he joined Sevilla Atlético, the reserve side of Sevilla, on a two-year contract.[10][11]

Anya signed for Celta Vigo in July 2010 after his contract with the Glenn Hoddle Academy expired.[12] On 13 July 2011, Anya signed a three-year contract with newly promoted La Liga side Granada.[13] He was then loaned out to Cádiz for the season.[14]

Watford[edit]

Anya was loaned to English side Watford for the 2012–13 season.[15] He made his Watford début as a substitute in the home defeat against Ipswich Town on 21 August 2012. He made his first start, and scored his first goal, for the club in the home defeat to Bradford City in the second round of the Capital One-sponsored League Cup on 28 August 2012. Anya scored his first league goal for Watford against Blackpool in a 2–2 draw on 24 November 2012. He then netted his second league goal for the Hornets away against Birmingham City on 16 February 2013. Three days later, Anya made it two goals in as many matches when the winger netted against Ipswich Town on 19 February 2013.

On 22 July 2013, Anya completed a permanent move to Watford, signing a three-year deal. He scored his first goal as a permanent Hornets player away to Barnsley on 21 September 2013, following an electric eighty yard run.[16]

International[edit]

Anya chose to play international football for Scotland, the land of his birth, but would also have been eligible for England, Nigeria or Romania.[17][18][19] He received his first call up to the Scotland national team on 23 August 2013 for Scotland's World Cup qualifying double header in September against Belgium and Macedonia.[20] He made his debut for Scotland against Belgium as a substitute on the hour mark on 6 September 2013 in a World Cup qualifying match, although Scotland were already unable to qualify for the final tournament. He made his first start and scored his first international goal in the following game, a 2–1 win in Macedonia on 10 September.[21] On 7 September 2014 he scored against the world champions Germany in the first match of UEFA Euro 2016 qualification in Dortmund, Scotland lost 2-1.[22]

International goals[edit]

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 10 September 2013 Philip II Arena, Skopje  Macedonia 0–1 1–2 [21] 2014 World Cup qualification
2 7 September 2014 Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund  Germany 1–1 2–1 [22] EURO 2016 qualification

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wejinya, Sammy (28 May 2014). "Nigerian Anya set to clip Eagle's wings". Super Sport. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Scotland new boy Ikechi Anya: Most of my family are scientists.. I bucked the trend and became a footballer". dailyrecord.co.uk. 3 September 2013. Retrieved 3 September 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Hind, Sally; Creasy, Richard (12 September 2013). "Proud mum of new Scotland hero Ikechi Anya tells how her son learned his trade on tough streets of Glasgow". Daily Record. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ikechi Anya, Wycombe Wanderers". Lfe.org.uk. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  5. ^ "Ikechi Anya, Apprentice of the year". Ntfc.co.uk. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  6. ^ "Sevilla Sign Glenn Hoddle Academy Club Player Ikechi Anya". Glennhoddleacademy.com. 6 July 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  7. ^ "Anya, cuestión de cariño". El País. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-02. 
  8. ^ "Cobblers chance for winger". 4thegame.com. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  9. ^ "Northampton v Swindon". 4thegame.com. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  10. ^ "Ikechi Anya, el primer refuerzo del Sevilla Atlético de cara a la próxima temporada". Sevillafc.es. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  11. ^ "Anya lands shock Spain move". Football365.com. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  12. ^ By TOM WORDEN in Jerez, Spain (13 September 2010). "Glenn Hoddle and the Spanish team that’s full of Englishmen". The Sun. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  13. ^ "Ikechi Anya, nuevo fichaje del Granada" (in Spanish). nuevofutbol.com. Retrieved 13 July 2011. 
  14. ^ Cádiz C.F Squad cadizcf.com. Retrieved 2011-10-05.
  15. ^ "Official: Hornets delighted with a magnificent seven signings". Watford Football Club. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  16. ^ OFFICIAL: Anya & Brown Sign
  17. ^ "Scot seals shock Sevilla transfer". Express.co.uk. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  18. ^ "BBC Sport Gossip Column". BBC News. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  19. ^ "Anya considering international future". Skysports.com. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-08. 
  20. ^ Ikechi Anya named in Scotland squad to face Belgium and Macedonia | International | Sport | STV.
  21. ^ a b "Macedonia 1-2 Scotland". BBC Sport. BBC. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013. 
  22. ^ a b "Germany 2-1 Scotland". BBC Sport. BBC. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014. 

External links[edit]