From the streets of Benin City to the football pitches of Sagamu, Denmark, and now England, Frank Onyeka’s journey to success is one filled with determination and perseverance. The Brentford and Super Eagles midfielder recently shared his emotional story on the Hindsight Podcast, shedding light on his humble beginnings and the challenges he faced along the way.
Contrary to popular belief, Onyeka reveals that he did not grow up in Maiduguri but rather in Benin City. He started his football journey with Flamingo football academy before moving on to Faith Motors Academy. It was at FC Ebedei in Sagamu, Ogun-State, that he finally got the opportunity to join FC Midtjylland in Denmark, a move that would change the course of his career.
The nickname “The Tank” is fitting for Onyeka, as his energy levels on the field are nothing short of extraordinary. Reflecting on his journey from being a boy on the streets to playing in England, he admits that it was far from easy. Many people discouraged him, telling him to quit football because they believed there was no future in it. Despite the doubts, Onyeka persisted and never gave up. He would trek long distances to training, sometimes taking alternative routes to avoid being seen and reminded of the challenges he faced. But his determination paid off, and he eventually found himself playing for FC Midtjylland.
In 2021, Onyeka’s dream came true as he made the move to the English Premier League with Brentford. When he heard of the club’s interest in him, he initially thought it was a joke. He couldn’t bring himself to watch their playoffs, fearing it would jinx his chances. But when he received the call confirming their promotion, he was overjoyed. Playing in the Premier League had always been his dream, and he was thrilled to have the opportunity.
Onyeka also spoke highly of his teammate, Ivan Toney, praising the English striker for his exceptional skills and qualities. He considers playing in the Premier League alongside top-quality players like Toney to be a dream come true. Despite receiving offers from clubs in other leagues, Onyeka’s focus was solely on the Premier League, and he is grateful to be a part of Brentford.
Having made his debut for Nigeria in 2020, Onyeka is now determined to establish himself as a regular starter for Brentford in the upcoming season. His journey from the streets to the top serves as an inspiration to aspiring footballers and a reminder that hard work and perseverance can lead to incredible achievements.