His name may strike a good note in a rhyme exercise but Okon Otop is not an easily recognisable name in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) in which he now rubs shoulders with the big boys for Go Round FC of Omoku, Rivers State.
Like Otop, his club is not a traditional top league side having just celebrated their promotion to the top flight, after finishing behind Heartland FC of Owerri, at the expense of Bayelsa United FC on the final day of the 2017 Nigeria National League (NNL) season.
Despite scoring the highest number of goals (40) in the NNL Southern Conference in the last campaign, the Omoku-based side has managed just seven goals in 11 games in what has been a difficult start to the campaign.
The striker, who began his career with Canaan Youth Soccer Academy, Calabar in 2013, joined Abia Warriors FC in 2017, but did not play any competitive game, as the club loaned him out to Warri Wolves to sharpen his skills and garner some experience.
Okon has scored three times for Go Round FC (against Abia Warriors, El-Kanemi and Sunshine Stars), but in a chat with www.npfl.ng, the forward admitted the difficulties he has personally faced in the top flight, as well as his ambitions with the club.
“Life has been difficult so far in the professional league because things are done here differently, as compared to the NNL. The competition is amazing and you have to be at your best to even feature for the team”.
“We (Go Round) knew it will be difficult, but we are doing our best and we are coping with the challenges. I have scored three goals this season and it is a good start, though that is not what i initially planned, because I am here to score goals and help the team”.
“I have big dreams with Go Round, and despite being new at the big stage, I wish to help the club to get to the continent and end the season as the club’s highest goal scorer”, he told npfl.ng