Moses Ogbu: Takes Challenge to Grimsby Town

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After nine years in Sweden playing for IK Sirius and Jönköpings Södra, Moses Ogbu moved to Saudi Arabia which was short lived. Not daunted, ahead of the coming season he has joined Grimsby Town and the club has confirmed him as their third signing of the summer, after signing a one-year deal at Blundell Park

The 28-year-old follows strikers Matt Green and James Hanson in making the move to Cleethorpes, and could provide competition for the pair up front. Ogbu arrived at Town having most recently played in Saudi Arabia after spending nine years in Sweden, where he would have come up against Michael Jolley during the Mariners boss’ time in charge of AFC Eskilstuna.

Playing style

Ogbu is a versatile forward, who can play on either wing, in an attacking midfield role, or as the main centre-forward . A strong player possessing plenty of pace , he has a decent record from his time in Scandinavia, having scored 56 goals in 194 appearances.

Ogbu began his career in his native Nigeria as a youth player with FC Dynamo in the country’s largest city of Lagos.

In 2009, he made the move over to Sweden as an 18-year-old to begin a trial period with Djurgårdens IF in the Allsvenskan’s U-21 league.

He went on to play his first senior games for Gimo IF in Division 3 – actually Sweden’s fifth tier – before training with IK Sirius with a view to earning a deal with the then-Division 1 North side .

After nearly two months with the team, Ogbu put pen to paper on a ‘multi-year’ contract ahead of the 2010 season.

Starting out

His first season with Sirius saw Ogbu make five appearances in total as the Blåsvart (blue-black) finished second in Division 1 North, qualifying them for the promotion play-offs, where they were defeated by Qviding FIF, meaning they missed out on a place in the Superettan.

The following year saw him earn more game time as he made 18 league appearances – 10 of which came from the bench – with Sirius finishing third as they missed out on a play-off place on goal difference.

Ogbu developed into a regular in 2012 making 21 league appearances including 18 starts and his performances were enough to earn him a new three-year contract at the club.

It proved to be another near-miss for Sirius that season, though, as they missed out on a play-off place again, this time by just one point – but they finally got over the line the following season.

The Uppsala team earned their long-awaited promotion as they won the Division 1 North title, finishing the season unbeaten with Ogbu playing a starring role.

The Nigerian ended the campaign as the league’s joint-top scorer, with 18 goals in 25 appearances, and was awarded the club’s Player of The Year award for his efforts.

 On the move

Sirius’ first season back in the Superettan – the second tier in Sweden – saw them consolidate their position in the division as they finished sixth, with Ogbu contributing eight goals from 28 appearances, including a final day hat-trick against IFK Värnamo.

The 2015 season saw Sirius challenging for promotion to the Allsvenskan as they finished third, with Ogbu supplying five goals in 29 appearances qualifying them for the promotion play-off against Falkenbergs FF.

Despite the Nigerian scoring twice in the first leg of the encounter, Sirius would miss out on promotion as Falkenbergs won on away goals after a 3-3 draw on aggregate – but Ogbu would still be heading to the top tier.

In December of that year, he was signed by recently-promoted side Jönköpings Södra IF, and put pen to paper on a two-year deal.

Return to Sirius

Ogbu made 12 Allsvenskan appearances for his new side before moving back to Sirius on loan midway through the 2016 season.

He scored three times in 14 appearances to help the club to the Superettan title and in the process earn them their first promotion to the top tier in 42 years.

Ogbu returned to Jönköpings at the end of the season, but a few months later, he was back with Sirius – this time permanently.

 Links to Town

After scoring a further 13 goals in 43 appearances during 2017 and 2018, Ogbu chose not to extend his stay with Sirius, with his agent going on to comment that he was set for a move away from Sweden.

That led to speculation during deadline day of the January transfer window earlier this year linking him with a move to Blundell Park, but in the end, nothing materialised. Instead, Ogbu made the move to Saudi Arabia just a few days later, signing for Al-Ain – with the player confirming that he’d had “interest from all possible countries”.

He left the club at the end of the season, though, and just a few months after being linked to Town, he’ll be making the move to Cleethorpes this summer.