Deadly in front of goal, an individual who never stopped running, and great on the ball. These are the qualities of Osagie Ederado, who wore the yellow and black of Heidelberg United for two years as a forward.
It was not only his passion and dedication on the pitch that captured the hearts of everyone involved at the ‘Bergers, but it was his humbleness and good spirits that people could look up to.
Originally from Benin City in Nigeria, Ederado started playing football at a young age with his friends on the streets. He loved playing the game so much that he was doing even doing it barefoot! It wasn’t until he was introduced to the local team by his friend when his life turned for the better, returning home from a tournament with enough funds to buy himself football boots.
His parents weren’t aware he was playing football – preferring he went to school instead – but Ederado mentions that the feelings for football were something special to him.
“My dad actually wanted me to go to school and have a good education, but soccer was so good and l understood that it was a way to express yourself,” he said.
“When you are a good player over there in Nigeria, people admire you and like the way you play.”
From the persuasion of his cousin to come play in Australia, Ederado started a new journey on the other side of the world. His agent brought him to Wollongong Wolves where he played a couple of seasons, whilst having a trial at Sydney FC. Even though nothing eventuated to receive a contract from Sydney, a few clubs were rumoured to be chasing his signature, as his reputation at the time was already made for him.
From his reliable connections, Ederado had managed to meet and hold discussions with Heidelberg United, talking about how he didn’t think the club took him very serious, in which he claimed was in a jokingly manner.
“During the conversation l don’t think they took me very serious because l didn’t look like a soccer player when l came in since l was small in size and didn’t have the qualities for a striker,” he said.
“However, they asked around and said l have a good reputation and has impressed a lot.”
Reflecting on the fact that the volunteers from back in the day of the Warriors would praise his game every so often, Ederado felt the club was just like home.
“Back in the days when l used to play, the senior citizens that were in the club used to colour my name sometimes and say ‘you did very well, we like your game and we have not seen this sort of thing before’ so l felt welcomed at Heidelberg,” he said.
“l didn’t feel any stress with my performances, everything was good for me at the club.”
As for his motivation moving forward, Ederado has a clear target in mind for what he sees as a successful season, focusing on maintaining his full fitness and setting bigger benchmarks for himself.
“Every year l try to score at least 10 goals a season – if l reach that l know l can do better that year, and if l get halfway through the season and l have 10, l know that is the best season for me,” he said.
“In my career l have never scored less than 10, so l always try to score more than that in a season.”