Seychelles is an unlikely destination for every footballer, but for Nigerian Peter Adesina, it has become home, an opportunity he forever remains grateful.
The 28-year old midfielder Adeshina has been one of the unsung heroes Seychellois champions, Cote d’Or, but doesn’t mind being in the background and play his part towards the success of the team.
“I played in Nigeria for a long time notably in the second-tier (Nigerian National League) with City of David (COD) Club and Calabar Rovers.
After a short stint in Benin, I was due to return to Nigeria until this opportunity to play in these beautiful islands came, and I grabbed the chance with both hands,” he reflected.
Adesina recalls he needed some time to adapt with the climate especially upon arrival in 2017, but he managed to do the business on the pitch helping Cote d’Or to runner-up spot in the Seychellois top flight.
The following season, the club based in Praslin, the second biggest Island in Seychelles, moved a step further winning the national title championship, with the Nigerian netting 12 goals in all competitions.
“I played in Nigeria for a long time notably in the second-tier (Nigerian National League) with City
He had to fight for his place as one of the four foreigners at the club for the three slots per club according to the regulations of the Seychelles Premier League.
Others foreigners are Uganda Tonny Kizito and Jonah Randriamisaina of Madagscar are other foreign players at the club.
“It has been a privilege to get the chance to showcase my talent and I’m grateful for the club management and coaches as well as the other partners and the whole community of Praslin where the team is based for all the support. I will always strive to give my best for the club,” Adesina said.
The league title feat earned Cote d’Or the right to represent Seychelles in the CAF Champions League 2019/20, a participation which has come with bitter-sweet memories.
For the first time, the Praslin-based club went past the preliminary round after eliminating Fomboni of Comoros on the away goal rule after a 3-3 tie on aggregate.
Next in line was South Africa and 2016 champions, Mamelodi Sundowns, standing between the islanders and a historic place at the group stage of the premier continental club championship.
However, the Brazilians as Sundowns are nicknamed proved a mountain too tall for Cote d’Or. After a 5-0 loss in the first leg, the Seychellois outfit suffered a humbling 11-1 loss in the reverse, a result which went down as the biggest loss in the history of the competition, and the aggregate score of 16-1, also another record.
Despite the infamous result, which has seen Cote d’Or drop to the Playoffs of the second-tier Total CAF Confederation Cup, where they come up against El Masry of Egypt, Adesina who has one goal to his name has described the experience worthy.
The Islanders host the Port Said-based outfit in the first leg on Sunday in Victoria, and the Nigerian is upbeat about a convincing result to boost their quest for a historic feat, this time for the positive reasons by becoming the first-ever Seychellois club to participate to reach the group stage of a major continental club championship.
“We hope to use the experience from our last contest against Sundowns to do better.
“Though we are conscious that we are playing a highly ranked club on the continent, what is important is that our players have the right attitude for the match as we must realize we have our reputation and that of the club at stake,” Adesina added.
The Seychellois champions are boisterous mood after a record 9-3 win over Red Star Defence Forces last Saturday in the domestic top flight. The result ranks as the biggest of the season so far.
“The record league win against Red Star Defence Forces, one of the title contenders will serve as a morale booster for the continental test against El Masry, which will be of a different level,” the Nigerian concluded.