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Ideye: Sometimes we were woken by gunshots

21 November 2014

Ideye glad to leave behind conflict

IMAGINE being woken by gunshots...imagine being so fearful for your family that you sent them to another country...imagine driving into a riot, having mobs surrounding your car and breaking the glass.

That was Kyiv, Ukraine, early 2014. 

Never before has the sign, 'Welcome to West Bromwich' looked so appealing to a man as it did to Brown Ideye when he arrived back in August.

Which is why the Nigeria international isn't too concerned with life in the Black Country as he continues to adjust to his new surroundings following his big money move from Dynamo Kyiv.

By his own admission, Ideye has yet to find his feet at Albion.

But adapting to life in the West Midlands is somewhat different to his previous experiences of living in a region ravaged by conflict.

Ideye spent three years in Kyiv, scoring 33 goals in 74 games for the Ukrainian club.

The final few months were blighted by the escalation of tension between Ukraine and bordering nation Russia.

Ideye, sat within the more sedate confines of the Albion training ground, admits he was fearful for his family's welfare. While he played out the final few months in Eastern Europe, Ideye's loved ones returned to Nigeria.

Did he feel they were in danger? "Yes?" comes the immediate reply. 

"When the problem started I just sent my family back home. 

"I just asked them to go with the security to the airport and they left for Nigeria.

"It was very difficult because sometimes we would be sleeping and were woken by gunshots. 

"Sometimes they had to call us in the middle of the night to come to the club - a car would come to pick us up and take us to the clubhouse - or we would be training and hear some gunshots and we had to go inside to do gym-work, not go out on the pitch.

"The club was great security-wise, they made sure they had security in every player’s house."

Ideye, not surprisingly, is keen to maintain some perspective when it comes to football.

He continued: "I lived close to the city, two or three minutes from house was the centre where the problem was. The road was blocked, you could not drive. 

"If you were unlucky you could run into some of the riots and maybe they would break your glass.

"I have seen tough times in football and I believe life is all about up and down.

"When you’re up you have to get everything you can.

"Going up is always difficult but you have to keep on struggling because coming down is always very fast.

"I have been through things in my life but being here is fine."

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