Ömer Rıza

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Ömer Rıza
Personal information
Full name Ömer Kerim Ali Rıza[1]
Date of birth (1979-11-08) 8 November 1979 (age 37)[2]
Place of birth Edmonton, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[3]
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1995–1998 Arsenal
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 Arsenal 0 (0)
1999 ADO Den Haag (loan) 11 (3[4])
1999–2002 West Ham United 0 (0)
2000 Barnet (loan) 5 (2)
2000–2001 Barnet (loan) 5 (2)
2001 Cambridge United (loan) 12 (3)
2002–2003 Cambridge United 46 (12)
2003–2006 Denizlispor 60 (16[5])
2006–2008 Trabzonspor 35 (4[5])
2009–2010 Shrewsbury Town 13 (0)
2010 Aldershot Town 1 (0)
2010–2012 Histon 55 (16)
2012–2013 Boreham Wood 19 (9)
2013-2013 Chelmsford City 13 (2)
2013–2014 Cheshunt 19 (11)
2015 Harlow Town 0 (0)
Total 265 (69)
National team
2005 Turkey A2 1 (0)
Teams managed
2013 Cheshunt (caretaker)
2013–2014 Cheshunt
2014–2015 Heybridge Swifts (assistant)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Ömer Kerim Ali Rıza (pronounced [øˈmeɾ ɾɯˈzɑ]; born 8 November 1979) is a former footballer who is now coaching at League Two side Leyton Orient.[6]

Riza represented the Turkish A2 team on one occasion.


Born in Edmonton, London,[2] of Turkish Cypriot descent,[7] Rıza started his career as a youth with English club Arsenal and made his first team debut on 2 November 1998 against Derby County in the League Cup. He also travelled with the team on away fixtures against Dynamo Kyiv and Panathinaikos as a substitute in the UEFA Champions League. With few first team opportunities at Arsenal, during the 1998–99 season, he went on loan to ADO Den Haag for three months.

In the 1999–2000 season, he moved to West Ham United, but again was unable to break into the first team. He went on loan to Barnet and Cambridge United, and signed a permanent deal with the latter in 2002. During the 2002–03 season he scored 17 goals for United, which prompted a move to Süper Lig side Denizlispor during the 2003 close season. In January 2006, he signed for Trabzonspor. In January 2008 Rıza walked out of the club claiming he had not been paid. The Turkish Football Federation banned him from playing for any club.[8]

In February 2009 Rıza returned to English football with a trial at League Two club Shrewsbury Town, and impressed manager Paul Simpson, but Rıza could not take part in any official matches due to the ban imposed upon him by the TFF. The players legal representatives submitted a case to football's World governing body FIFA in early April 2009, from which a Swiss judge over-ruled the TFF decision, on 17 April, that Rıza shall be allowed to compete in English football. Rıza made his debut for Shrewsbury Town as a second-half substitute against Rotherham United the following day. The case with the club and TFF continues, with the player and his legal team awaiting for FIFA to make a decision on the restriction.[9]

On 22 January 2010, he left Shrewsbury Town after struggling to break into the first team during the first half of the season, with Riza and the club coming to an agreement regarding paying off the rest of his contract. On 25 February he joined Aldershot Town until the end of the season.[10] Following the appointment of David Livermore as manager at Histon,[11] Riza joined Histon on a non-contract basis and made his debut against Kettering Town in a Conference National fixture on 28 August. He scored his first goal for Histon when he scored a penalty in their league match against Hayes & Yeading United, which turned out to be the winning goal.[12] Due to the financial cost of his wages, Histon released Riza in January 2012, giving him seven days notice to leave the club.[13]

In February 2012 Riza signed for Borehamwood scoring on his debut in a 3–0 win against Maidenhead United.[14][15] On 28 January 2013 he signed for Chelmsford City[14] and scored on his debut on the same day against Dorechester Town in a 4–0 win. He was also named man of the match.[16]

In August 2013 Riza moved clubs again, this time signing for Cheshunt.[17] Following the departure of manager Tony Faulkner, Riza was appointed as caretaker manager for Chesthunt. The holder of a UEFA A Licence badge, Riza said of his new role, "It's new to me but I am ready for the challenge. I am ready for the next step of my career. I have always wanted to go into this side of the game. I feel quietly confident I have what it takes to build something."[18] His first game in charge was on 31 August 2013, an away game against Hertford Town in the FA Cup. Riza scored to make the game 3–1 before they finally lost, 4–2.[19] The position was made permanent player-manager in November 2013.[20] He scored 17 goals during that season, but damaged his cruciate ligament in one of his knees in a charity match for Arsenal XI in June 2014,[21] sidelining him for 15 months.[22] Meanwhile, he was sacked from his Cheshunt duties, in September 2014.[23]

He had a short spell as assistant manager for Heybridge Swifts, between December 2014 and February 2015.[24][25]

In August 2015 he was brought in to Harlow Town, hoping to bounce back from the knee injury.[26]


  1. ^ "Ömer Kerim Ali Rıza". Turkish Football Federation. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Danny Thorpe, Barry J., ed. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 524. ISBN 1-85291-665-6. 
  3. ^ "Profiles". Shrewsbury Town F.C. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  4. ^ "Omer Riza profile" (in Dutch). Voetbal International. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Ömer Kerim Ali Rıza statics". Mackolik.com. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  6. ^ "Leyton Orient U16s coach Omer Riza is aiming high". The Football League Paper. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  7. ^ Zaman. "İngiliz futbolu,Kıbrıs Türklerini keşfetti!". Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Shrews hope Fifa clear Riza deal". BBC Sport. 8 April 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  9. ^ Garrison, James (21 April 2009). "Omer's promotion dream". Shropshire Star. Retrieved 1 May 2009. 
  10. ^ "Aldershot Town sign striker Omer Riza". BBC Sport. 25 February 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "Stutes appoint Livermore as boss". Blue Sq Prem Football online. 24 August 2010. Retrieved 29 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Hayes and Yeading v Histon match report". Histon F.C. 4 September 2010. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  13. ^ "Bombshell for Omer Riza as Histon release him". www.cambridge-news.co.uk. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Omer Riza – Soccerway". Soccerway. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  15. ^ "Former Arsenal youngster scores stunning goal as Boreham Wood win at Maidenhead United". www.borehamwoodtimes.co.uk. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  16. ^ Evans, Chris (28 January 2013). "Chelsmford City 4–0 Dorechester Town". www.chelmsfordcityfc.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  17. ^ "Ambers boss signs ex-Arsenal pro Riza". www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  18. ^ "Riza Appointed as Caretaker Manager". www.pitchero.com. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  19. ^ "Hertford Town vs Cheshunt". Hertfordtownfc.co.uk. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  20. ^ "Former Arsenal man Riza appointed permanent Cheshunt boss". Hertfordshire Mercury. 8 November 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  21. ^ "Cheshunt FC boss Riza sets bar high ahead of Ryman League kick-off". Hertfordshire Mercury. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  22. ^ "Former Arsenal striker wants his own extra time at Harlow Town". Harlow Star. 31 July 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  23. ^ "Omer Riza Wants Swift Management Return". The Non-League Football Paper. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  24. ^ "Redbridge face hard start to the new year". Ilford Recorder. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  25. ^ "Omer Riza "Mistakes don't matter, it's how you deal with them"". Matt's Sporting News. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2015. 
  26. ^ "Signing of former Stoke, Hull and Reading Premier League star a massive coup for Harlow Town". Harlow Star. 6 August 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 

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