Ovie Ejeheri’s loan to Chelmsford City will come to an end today, despite the non-league club’s desire to keep him until the end of the season.
Chelmsford City confirmed on Sunday that Ovie Ejeheri’s loan spell at Chelmsford City will come to an end after Monday night’s BBC Essex Senior Cup tie against Coggeshall Town.
Ejeheri was always on loan only until January, but his performances had the Chelmsford fans hoping he might extend his deal to the end of the season. Instead, it’s likely he’ll now go on loan again to a higher division.
The 19-year-old goalkeeper made 25 appearances for Chelmsford, keeping 12 clean sheets. He even earned a reputation as a bit of a penalty-save specialist, after keeping out two spot-kicks in two games.
Ejeheri won Chelmsford’s Player of the Month award in November and helped them up to fourth in the table for a promotion charge.
Chelmsford boss Robbie Simpson put on record their gratitude for the loan spell.
“We really thank Arsenal for trusting us to help Ovie develop, and I think we have done our job in that respect,” Simpson said.
“Ovie’s been absolutely fantastic for us and has helped us get the points we’ve got this season. We’ve got essentially the best defence in the league this season, barring obviously Taunton who have games in hand on us.
“That’s down to the whole team and largely down to him keeping the ball out of the net when we’ve needed him.
“A huge thanks to Ovie, it’s been a pleasure to watch his development from his first training session until now.
“He’s definitely going back to Arsenal a much better player and they [Arsenal] can sense that. They’re really thankful to us and I think that it’s only helped build on the good relationship we already have with Arsenal for future things that might happen.
“Once again a big thank you to Ovie for his efforts for the club, and he will always be welcome back of course.”
As well as the staff, the fans showed plenty of gratitude to Ejeheri on social media as he prepared to return to Arsenal, with some of their messages below.
- @BenBrownsTweets: “I think every fan in the league has been impressed by Ejeheri. Fingers crossed for a stellar career.”
- @Paulsb69: “You’ve been superb for Chelsmford City, Ovie, good luck in your future playing career.”
- @Wannabettername: “A pleasure to watch and always had time for the fans. Wishing you nothing but the best for a bright future Ovie.”
- @Kath74xxx: “A top lad, and an outstanding keeper, we will be watching out for your progress. Best of luck, Ovie.”
- @OliHead02: “Heartbreak. The guy was well below his level in the NLS (National League South), thank you for everything Ovie.”
- @Scorbymurdstone: “Sorry to hear the news. Ovie has been brilliant for us this season. Such a presence in goal, dominating the penalty area, and pulling off great saves as routine. Wishing him all the best for the future – look after him Arsenal! – we’ll have him back any time! Once a Claret…”
It’s not often you can say this, but Ejeheri’s loan to Chelmsford was an unmitigated success.
With Chelmsford playing their football in the sixth tier of English football, Ejeheri will now be hoping to make a move up the divisions for the second half of the campaign.