Ikechi Anya

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Ikechi Anya
File:Ikechi Anya.jpg
Anya with Watford in 2014
Personal information
Full name Ikechi Anya[1]
Date of birth (1988-01-03) 3 January 1988 (age 31)
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 (0)
2010–2011 Celta B 35 (8)
2011 Celta 1 (0)
2011–2013 Granada 0 (0)
2011–2012 Cádiz (loan) 29 (4)
2012–2013 Watford (loan) 25 (3)
2013– Watford 89 (5)
National team
2013– Scotland 17 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 28 December 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 September 2015

Ikechi Anya (born 3 January 1988) is a Scottish professional footballer who plays as a right winger for English club Watford and the Scotland national team. 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

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.[2]

Anya was born in Glasgow, Scotland and spent his early childhood in the Castlemilk area.[3] His mother, Mariena, states that as a boy 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."[4] 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".[3]

His older brother, Chima, is a medical doctor.[4]

Career

Wycombe Wanderers

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.[5]

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.[6]

Non-League

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.[7][8]

Northampton Town

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.[9] His first goal for the club came as part of a 3–4 defeat against Swindon Town on 24 March.[10] 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

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.[11][12]

Anya signed for Celta Vigo in July 2010 after his contract with the Glenn Hoddle Academy expired.[13] On 13 July 2011, Anya signed a three-year contract with newly promoted La Liga side Granada.[14] He was then loaned out to Cádiz for the season.[15]

Watford

Anya was loaned to English side Watford for the 2012–13 season.[16] He made his Watford debut 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. [17] He extended his contract following Watford's promotion to the Premier League in 2015, and is now contracted to the club until 2020.

International

Anya chose to play international football for Scotland, the land of his birth, but would also have been eligible for England (through residence), Nigeria (through his father) or Romania (through his mother).[18][19][20] 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.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23]

International goals

Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 10 September 2013 Philip II Arena, Skopje  Macedonia 0–1 1–2 [22] 2014 World Cup qualification
2 7 September 2014 Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund  Germany 1–1 2–1 [23] EURO 2016 qualification

References

  1. "The Football League Limited: Club list of registered players as at 16th May 2015" (PDF). The Football League. 16 May 2015. p. 35. Retrieved 19 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Wejinya, Sammy (28 May 2014). "Nigerian Anya set to clip Eagle's wings". Super Sport. Retrieved 9 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 "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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Ikechi Anya, Wycombe Wanderers". Lfe.org.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Ikechi Anya, Apprentice of the year". Ntfc.co.uk. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Sevilla Sign Glenn Hoddle Academy Club Player Ikechi Anya". Glennhoddleacademy.com. 6 July 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Anya, cuestión de cariño". El País. 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Cobblers chance for winger". 4thegame.com. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Northampton v Swindon". 4thegame.com. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Ikechi Anya, el primer refuerzo del Sevilla Atlético de cara a la próxima temporada". Sevillafc.es. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Anya lands shock Spain move". Football365.com. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. TOM WORDEN in Jerez, Spain (13 September 2010). "Glenn Hoddle and the Spanish team that's full of Englishmen". The Sun. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Ikechi Anya, nuevo fichaje del Granada" (in Spanish). nuevofutbol.com. Retrieved 13 July 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Cádiz C.F Squad cadizcf.com. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  16. "Official: Hornets delighted with a magnificent seven signings". Watford Football Club. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  17. OFFICIAL: Anya & Brown Sign
  18. "Scot seals shock Sevilla transfer". Express.co.uk. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "BBC Sport Gossip Column". BBC News. 12 July 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Anya considering international future". Skysports.com. 13 July 2009. Retrieved 8 December 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Ikechi Anya named in Scotland squad to face Belgium and Macedonia | International | Sport | STV.
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Macedonia 1–2 Scotland". BBC Sport. BBC. 10 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Germany 2–1 Scotland". BBC Sport. BBC. 7 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links