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Last season's League of Ireland leading scorer Ogedi-Uzokwe joins Israeli top-flight club

The 25-year-old scored 14 league goals for Derry City during the 2019 campaign, helping them to a European place.

Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe celebrates one of his three goals against Cork City at Turner's Cross last season.
Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe celebrates one of his three goals against Cork City at Turner's Cross last season.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

JUNIOR OGEDI-UZOKWE HAS joined Israeli Premier League club Hapoel Hadera from League Two Colchester United on a permanent basis.

The 25-year-old was the top scorer in last season’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, his 14 league goals helping Derry City towards a European spot.

The English striker returned to Colchester in a bid to break into their first-team plans, but has found opportunities scarce.

Ogedi-Uzokwe made just 12 first-team appearances for his parent club, scoring his solitary Colchester goal on his full debut against Coventry City in a 2-1 victory in February 2018.

Speaking last month to BBC Essex, Ogedi-Uzokwe said of his loan spell with the Candystripes: “It was a good experience. I learned a lot there and just really enjoyed it. Football is played well there because most teams play the ball on the floor, so yeah, it was very good.

The atmosphere was so good. Even if we were losing, they were still singing and passionate and spurred us on — so good.

“Their football is on the floor. League Two is like, obviously, most teams would play the ball in the air a lot. There [in Ireland], it’s physical but it’s more ‘pass and move’, ‘pass and move’, ‘pass and move’. Obviously, I preferred it, because I’d like the ball on the floor.”

Ogedi-Uzokwe described Derry’s European qualification as a “massive achievement”, saying he was grateful that he had fit in at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium and “done well” for the club.

“I learned a lot out there and just enjoyed it, to be fair,” he added.

His new club currently sit fifth in Israel’s 14-team top flight.

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