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John Utaka reveals reasons behind his Ismaily return

John Utaka

Photo: Ismaily SC

Nigerian striker John Utaka talked about his Ismaily return, former Daraweesh coach Ahmed Hossam Mido and the truth about Al Ahly negotiations.

Earlier this month, the Daraweesh announced the return of the Nigerian player 15 years after leaving the club in 2001 for Qatari side Al-Sadd.

“I’m very happy to be back home, I didn’t forget the Ismaily fans throughout all these years,” Utaka said in televised comments.

The 34-year-old player spoke about the reasons behind returning to the Egyptian Premier League side, saying that Ismaily goalkeeper Mohamed Sobhy played an important role in the deal.

“The main reason behind my return is Mohamed Sobhy. We have stayed in touch since I departed the club. He told me that the fans and the team needed me. I really want to make Ismaily fans happy again.”

Utaka also spoke about being very close to joining Ismaily last year when Ahmed Hossam Mido was in charge of the team. The former Zamalek player was appointed as the Ismaily coach in July 2015 before resigning five months later.

“Negotiations started when Mido was the head coach of Ismaily but they suddenly stopped. I later knew that Mido left the club and that’s why the deal took a bit longer before it happened.”

Utaka said that he turned down a Japanese offer and preferred to join Ismaily, while also revealing the truth about the Al Ahly negotiations.

“In the past, before moving to Qatar, no direct negotiations took place with Al Ahly. Only some fans who used to see me in the streets, would ask me to join Al Ahly but it did not happen. I play at Ismaily now and there were no negotiations with Al Ahly as well,” Utaka concluded.

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