INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: URHOGHIDE
On the last day of the transfer period, Osaze Urhoghide came over from Scottish side Celtic on a rental basis. The Dutch defender made his debut against KV Mechelen and played a strong match against Sint-Truiden last weekend. We sat down with him for an extensive interview.
Osaze, you've been here about a month now. How are you doing?
I am doing very well. I am happy to be here and feel very good. My teammates have received me well. In this month, I have been able to adapt well. But that was not such a big problem since the difference between Scotland and Belgium is not that big. The fact that I was born in the Netherlands also helps.
That's right, you were born in the Netherlands. What do you remember about that period?
Not so much since I moved to England when I was five years old. I was fluent in Dutch at the time, but since then I have never spoken the language and have completely forgotten it. When I ended up in England, I actually couldn't speak a word of English yet either. So I went to class there, but didn't understand a word the teacher said. After a while I began to speak some English. And now, of course, I speak fluent English. I would like to learn Dutch again so I can talk with the Flemish players here.
Are there any other things you remember from your time in the Netherlands?
Definitely! Maybe this was something typical of Nijmegen, where I am from by the way. But that's how I remember there being a lot of crazy holidays there. We ate an abundance of pies, pastries and pancakes on 'Pancake Day'. Coincidentally, that was yesterday on Tuesday, March 1, but I haven't participated in that tradition in a while. It can be compared a bit to Fat Tuesday which traditionally falls on the day before Ash Wednesday.
Why did you choose KV Oostende?
I wanted a new challenge and was looking for more playing minutes. It's a new country with a good league where young players can develop well. I am now 21 years old, so that is the perfect age for me to take this step. The project also appealed to me. Here they really want to make young players better and help them develop. That is what I am looking for and I hope that I can gain the necessary experience here.
Before that, did you have contact with Jack Hendry, who also came from Celtic?
To be honest, no. I did know who he was and that he had made the step from Celtic to Oostende. But it's certainly not like I sent him a message beforehand. I saw that he already left here and we never played together at Celtic.
What is your favorite position?
I can defend on the right flank as well as at center back. It's just a coincidence that I had to make my debut on the right flank at Sheffield Wednesday, Celtic and KV Oostende. And that was not because I asked, that is actually three times pure coincidence. If the coaches ask me to do that, then I do that. I'll take any chance of playing minutes they offer me here. At center back I can really go for it in terms of tackles and sliding. On the flank, I can attack more and then the focus is more on making good crosses and maybe even scoring goals.
You already list a lot of qualities of yours here, but do you have any work points?
Work points are always there. For example, I really have to focus on staying calm when I'm on the ball. If attackers put pressure on me when I have the ball, I sometimes dare to make rash decisions. Another point of work for me is that I should sometimes dare to play a bit faster. Against Sint-Truiden for example, I had some good infiltrations in the midfield. But sometimes I hesitate a bit too long whether I will make the right choice. Sometimes you just have to try something. If it doesn't work out, you have to learn from it for the next time.
Many supporters find your name difficult to pronounce. Do you ever get called out on that?
Yes, that does happen sometimes. But I prefer that they just call me 'Osa' or 'Osas'. Urhoghide is quite a difficult last name. Supporters often ask me how you pronounce that name (ed. OE-RO-GHI-DÉ). Then I pronounce it correctly, but they quickly choose the easy option 'Osa'. My teammates at training also address me this way and I'm quite happy with that.
Before Celtic you played at Sheffield Wednesday.
A big club in England with a lot of history. But meanwhile they play in the third division. I made my debut there in the FA Cup against Brighton, a Premier League club. We won 1-0 and I remember it like it was yesterday. That was the high day of the year and that feeling after the game in a packed stadium. That is indescribable. I hope to experience it here at Ostend as well. Maybe the next home game against Club Brugge (laughs).
There is also a purchase option. Do you see a future for yourself at KV Oostende?
I will be very happy if I still play at Ostend next season. I like it here, but also at Celtic I felt super! I must now mainly try to prove myself, so KV Oostende will certainly consider the purchase option. And then we'll see what it will be.
Do you have any other hobbies besides soccer?
Maybe supporters have already noticed, but I love video editing. On my TikTok I try to regularly post some of my work. But I am also active on YouTube. There you can find some interesting videos like a look into the life of a professional football player. Currently my upload schedule is not very busy. But I hope to upload a bit more in the future. Who knows, I might even vlog on a match day.