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INTERVIEW: Excited about my new challenge

31 July 2015

Striker Kevin Osei on signing for Carlisle United

New signing Kevin Osei spoke to us about his move to Cumbria following the agreement of a short term contract with the club earlier this week.

“I’m very happy to come here,” he said. “I think it’s good for me to get this opportunity because there are a lot of good things to come here this year. I’m really excited for the start of the season and my new challenge. I’m looking forward to us having a great season. 

“It’s a really friendly club. It’s a nice place to be and I’m looking forward to playing in front of the Carlisle fans at home. I didn’t get to play on Tuesday but the most important thing for me is that we win, even if I’m not involved.”

On how the move came about, he said: “My agent spoke to me and he said Carlisle wanted me to come over here for a trial. I said – yes, why not – because I really like the English mentality and everyone knows that people love football over here. 

“The manager also talked to me a lot about the move and that’s something I really appreciate. He’s a really good guy and a very good manager. He said he likes me and that’s why I told my agent this is where I want to be.”

“I first heard that Carlisle were interested three or four months ago,” he told us. “I have followed League One football in the past but I’ve never followed League Two. 

“My friend, Reda Johnson, played in League Two for Plymouth and I spoke to him about what it’s like. He told me that if the opportunity was there for me to come here then I had to take the chance. The highlights get on TV even for League Two and it’s a really good chance to show people what I can do. After hearing that I thought, ok, let’s go.

“I talked to my family about it and they know I want to play in England. As I say, the game is loved here and I hope I’ll play a part in helping this club to get on top.”

On the length of the trial period, he said: “It’s been a little bit frustrating because when you spend more than two weeks on trial you just want an answer. That’s how it is for every player who goes anywhere on trial.

“I kept working hard and I’m very happy now that I’ve signed my new deal. I’ve enjoyed it and it’s been worth it in the end. I’ve enjoyed the friendly games because it gave me the chance to get used to the style of football. It’s new to me but I think I did well. I have to keep that going so I can play more, and hopefully I’ll get even better. 

“The fitness work we’ve been doing in training has been very hard. We don’t do the things we’ve done here over in France because we play more with the ball over there. It’s really enjoyable and I feel really good because of the level of fitness I’ve reached. It’s going to help me for the season and that can only be good. We all know English football is very physical but I’m looking forward to seeing that.”

And on where he likes to play, he said: “When I was younger I used to play as a central midfielder, but I think I can play anywhere up front now. I’ve played on the left and right wing and as a centre forward.

“The most important thing as far as I’m concerned is to be out on the pitch and to do my job. The manager has told me to play like a forward. He wants me to use my qualities to help the team and to think like a striker. I think I’m fast and I’m good with my feet, and he wants me to bring that into the team.

“I think I can also bring my vision to the club because I used to play with Marseille, in France, and they aren’t a small team at all. I played with some very good players and I gained a lot of experience from that. 

“I know I’m still young but I want to bring everything I've learned to help this team to be on top. I joined Marseille when I was 12 and I had eleven good years with the club. I signed my first professional contract with them and it was a great experience.

“I made my debut for the first team and that was amazing. To play for the team from the city where you’re born is unbelievable. Everybody knows I love Marseille and they are a big team because they’ve won the Champions League. To play for them in the Europa League was a dream come true.” 

“My contract with them came to an end and I felt I wanted a new challenge,” he added. “I didn’t want to stay in France because I wanted the challenge of playing in a different country. I wanted to see a different kind of football and approach, so here I am.

“I moved to Belgium and the football there is very similar to how it is here. That was another good experience for me and my target now is to use everything I’ve learned to help me to play as many games as possible over here so that I can do my best for the team.” 

“My first coach at Marseille was Didier Deschamps,” he commented. “He taught me everything about being a professional. He gave me a lot of advice and I learned a lot from him. 

“For a young player to be coached by a man like him was really good. He taught me the winning spirit and other things which are still helping my career now.”

Speaking about the settling in process, he said: “Having Bastien [Hery] here has really helped me to settle. It’s made it easier because I’ve been able to speak French every now and then but everybody in the club has been really good with how they’ve been with me. 

“The reaction to me signing on social media was really nice. It’s a very nice place and a really good city. The pitch is superb and the stadium looks very good, and I’m just really happy to be here and to have this chance.”

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