Okotcha pleased with U23s league debut vs Sunderland


Joshua Okotcha is disappointed he couldn’t mark his U23s league debut with a win against Sunderland, but is thrilled with the experience.

The 16-year-old was named in Terry Westley’s team in Premier League 2 for the first time, having made his debut for the side against Benfica earlier this campaign, and put in a strong showing at centre-back against the Black Cats.

Despite Okotcha’s efforts the Irons fell to a 1-0 defeat at the Chigwell Construction Stadium, courtesy of a 14th minute finish by Lee Connelly, and the defender is frustrated to not get a positive result on his league debut.

But the youngster also feels delighted to have made his first showing for the side, something he wants to build on for the rest of the season.

“Playing in the U23s in the league for the first time was a really good experience,” Okotcha told whufc.com. “I really enjoyed it, although obviously I would have preferred to have come away with a win.


“I thought we started a little sloppy, but we came back into the game really well. Our performance in the second half deserved an equaliser. Browne hit the post, and we were really unlucky.”

To play in Monday’s match was an impressive feat for Okotcha, given he also featured in the full 90 minutes of the U18s’ clash with Swansea City in South Wales on Sunday.

“It was a quick turnaround,” he admits. “I started to get some cramp towards the end of this game but there was no way I wasn’t going to play. It was an awesome opportunity.”

With a number of players from the U23s going out on loan in January Okotcha is hopeful of earning more playing experience in Westley’s side this campaign.

“I’m enjoying getting experience with the U23s. Hopefully I can continue to play for this side, and get more time on the pitch in the rest of the games.”