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Sodje: Good To Be Home

16 August 2012

Preston North End’s new frontman Akpo Sodje has praised the warm welcome he has received during his time so far at the Club.

“I have always been a fan of Preston because my sister studied at UCLan, so it is a familiar place for me.”

“I remember the game well, it was a good game in tough conditions, we had the home advantage and I managed to score with a header. 

“Most of the boys have already achieved success during their careers with other clubs and the manager is also an experienced winner, so it is something I want to experience as well.

He concluded by revealing why he has always had a soft spot for the Lilywhites, “I want to win my first league medal at Preston and help the team win promotion.

Sodje is determined that his spell at Preston will be the one he looks back on and remembers that is where he won his first league title.

“The ambition of the Club right now, the drive around the place makes me want to play for PNE and you can see that they want to get back into the Championship.”

“Preston is a hard place for opposition teams to come but they have always been a well organised unit and very hard to beat. 

“It is a big Club and I even made my Championship debut against them whilst I was at Sheffield Wednesday. 

“Before I even joined the Club I was fully aware that Preston have always been a Club wanting things to happen. 

“Coming back to England it helped me see that football is completely different in this country. China was a good experience, I enjoyed every single minute but I am glad to be back home and see my family and friends.

Back from a brief spell in China plying his trade at Tianjin Teda, he continued: “As a player I have been to China for a few months and now I am back and I have experienced playing over there but there are some good and bad parts like there is in every country.

Sodje, an experienced professional, has represented a host of Football League clubs during his career including the likes of Charlton Athletic and North End’s first round Capital One cup opponents Huddersfield Town.

“I am glad I scored three goals during pre-season and hopefully that will continue. I know it will continue because we have got a very good team and my target is to just keep on playing and scoring goals.”

“When I first came in I wasn’t fully fit but the team pulled me through and they supported me throughout the game. 

“It is good for me to return back to England and start scoring goals again. I am really pleased I managed to find the back of the net during pre-season, but it is not just down to me but the support from the rest of the boys and the coaching staff.

“I don’t consider myself as a new player, I feel like one of the older players because I have already played four games for the Club and I know the boys well.

“It doesn’t feel like I am settling into a new place but that is down to the rest of the boys and the Club, they all made me feel welcomed on my first day. 

Talking to PNE.Com the 32-year-old said: “It is really good to complete the move, I have been at the Club for almost three weeks and now I can concentrate on playing for Preston North End. 

During that time, Sodje found the back of the net three times, including a brace at AFC Wimbledon at the end of July, with his aerial threat one of his key strengths.

The former Sheffield Wednesday man joined PNE on a short term contract on Thursday subject to international clearance after impressing boss Graham Westley during a pre-season trial period.

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