‘It felt right to stay at Colchester’ - Magnus Okuonghae
THE big man is back, and it’s as if he had never been away.
Actually, Magnus Okuonghae never really left Colchester United, in the sense that he never signed for another club.
Instead, the U’s inspirational centre-half, after initially turning down the offer of a new contract, was persuaded to change his mind and instead sign a new three-year deal at lunchtime on Saturday.
Okuonghae rejoined his old team-mates on Sunday, to fly to Holland for the club’s mini pre-season tour. New signing Clinton Morrison flew out to complete the party last night.
Okuonghae revealed: “I always said that this was going to be the most important decision of my career.
“I took a long time to think about it, and it’s true that I did formally turn down the offer.
“But it was all a bit rushed, and I kept in touch with the gaffer (John Ward) even after I had turned down the deal.
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“I did speak to a few other people, about a possible move elsewhere, and I did have opportunities to move on. But it just felt right to stay at Colchester.
“So when the gaffer phoned me last Wednesday, and asked if I wanted to sit down and talk, I agreed.
“He managed to convince me to sign, although I didn’t need much convincing,” added Okuonghae.
The ex-Dagenham & Redbridge defender, who has so far chalked up 100 league appearances for the U’s, had originally expressed a desire to sign for a Championship club.
But he sees no reason why that club can’t end up being Colchester United.
“I think I have a fighting chance of playing in the Championship with Colchester, and so fulfilling my personal ambition, and that of the club,” insisted Okuonghae.
Meanwhile, see today’s EADT for the full story on Morrison’s move to Colchester.