Efetobore Sodje: 'I also got to play with some fantastic players at Southend'
He's turned 38, and hopes that present side Bury will take him to eight promotions, centre-back Efe Sodje has certainly been around, and is known well to Roots Hall faithful who will be able to show their appreciation for the Nigerian, he actually played at the 2002 World Cup for his country, who turned out 41 times for the Shrimpers.
Just forget that back header against Colchester!
Sodje told www.echo-news.co.uk: "I'm proud of my seven promotions but I'm not finished yet and before I eventually decide to retire I want to make it eight with Bury. We're in the top seven at the moment but we need to keep it going which means we need a result against Southend."
Other than that, he's got good memories of his time at the seaside, and after the final whistle gets blown Friday evening will be hoping the Shrimpers join Shakers in the promotion mix-up.
Sodje continued: "I loved it at Southend and I have nothing bad to say about my time there at all. Winning the league was fantastic and so was beating Manchester United in the Carling Cup. I don't think anyone to do with Southend is ever going to forget that night and I also got to play with some fantastic players like Kevin Maher, Shaun Goater, Lee Bradbury and Freddy Eastwood."
Sadly, for Efe the Championship turned out to be a step too far, and that infamous defensive error against the Farmers was to be the beginning of the end.
He explained: "I didn't want to leave either but the manager didn't want me to stay so I had no choice and ended up going to Gillingham which was a good move for me at the time."
Efe even and a good thing to say about Uncle Ron, and that's rare!
Sodje said: "Ron was fantastic for me when I was at Southend and I know how hard he works for the club. I understand that people have been questioning what he's doing and it is a real shame that the club have been relegated twice in the last few years. But I think it's important that everyone backs Ron because he knows where he wants to take Southend and I'm sure he will be able to do it as well."
Sodje is part of the Bury coaching staff and though he's looking to a career after he finishes playing, the ten club man isn't finished yet!
Eje concluded: "I'm a player coach and it's something I enjoy. I'm doing my UEFA B coaching badge at the moment but I still love playing. And I haven't really thought about retiring just yet because I seem to be getting younger every year."
The Sodje Files
Personal information Full name Efetobore Sodje Date of birth 5 October 1972 (1972-10-05) Place of birth Greenwich, London, England Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) Playing position Defender Club information Current club Bury Number 16 Senior career* Years Team Apps† (Gls)† 1994-1997 Stevenage Borough 40 (1) 1997-1999 Macclesfield Town 83 (6) 1999-2000 Luton Town 9 (0) 2000 → Colchester United (loan) 3 (0) 2000-2003 Crewe Alexandra 97 (3) 2003-2005 Huddersfield Town 67 (5) 2005-2006 Yeovil Town 25 (3) 2006 → Southend United (loan) 1 (0) 2006-2007 Southend United 36 (2) 2007-2008 Gillingham 13 (0) 2008 → Bury (loan) 16 (1) 2008- Bury 103 (11) National team‡ 2000-2004 Nigeria 9 (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 15 January 2011 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16:14, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
(Player information supplied by Wikipedia, for the full article go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efe_Sodje)