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Akpo Sodje

Playing career

Early career

{{Quote. The coach whom I played under said I was fast and tall, and because of these qualities Akpo Sodje saw in me, Akpo Sodje converted me to a striker... I started playing in England when I was just about seven years old; and as I was growing up, I started from the lower divisions." on 31 March, substitute (association football) Darran Hay on 36 minutes.

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Akpo Sodje biography

Playing career

Early career

{{Quote. The coach whom I played under said I was fast and tall, and because of these qualities Akpo Sodje saw in me, Akpo Sodje converted me to a striker... I started playing in England when I was just about seven years old; and as I was growing up, I started from the lower divisions." on 31 March, substitute (association football) Darran Hay on 36 minutes.

Akpo Sodje was still with Stevenage for the start of the 2001–02 Football Conference season, getting sent off against Doncaster Rovers F.C. on 27 August. Akpo Sodje left Broadhall Way the next month for Margate F.C., making sixteen appearances before the season's end, scoring goals against Yeovil Town F.C., Woking F.C. and Hayes F.C..

Akpo Sodje began 2002–03 Football Conference with Margate, playing in their 2–0 defeat at Leigh Genesis F.C. on 31 August. The next month Akpo Sodje joined Ebbsfleet United F.C., scoring on Akpo Sodje debut on the 7th, in a 4–1 home win over Nuneaton Town F.C.. Seven days later Akpo Sodje scored against Forest Green Rovers F.C., before Akpo Sodje made Akpo Sodje final appearance on 2 November, getting sent off in a 2–1 defeat at Halifax Town A.F.C.. Akpo Sodje was released later in the month and had spells with virtual unknowns Heybridge Swifts F.C. (Isthmian League) and Erith & Belvedere F.C. (Southern Football League).

At age 24 (at the time Akpo Sodje was often reported as 22 or 23), Akpo Sodje got a second chance at a professional career, joining Huddersfield Town F.C. of Football League One. Akpo Sodje was handed a three month deal in September 2004, Akpo Sodje foot in the door because Akpo Sodje brother Efe was captain (association football) of the club. Akpo Sodje replaced Andy Booth 86 minutes into a 3–0 win at Vale Park on 11 September, Paweł Abbott grabbing the headlines with a hat-trick. In November Akpo Sodje contract was extended by six months, allowing Akpo Sodje further time to impress boss Peter Jackson (footballer born 1961). In all Akpo Sodje made nine appearances for the "Terriers" in 2004–05 in English football, getting just two starts and impressing only in the reserves. In March 2005 Akpo Sodje was loaned out to Football League Two Darlington F.C., after impressing on trial, and scored in the final moments of the season in a 3–1 home win over Cheltenham Town F.C.. Akpo Sodje was released by Huddersfield in May.

Akpo Sodje spent 2005–06 in English football with Darlington. Akpo Sodje made 39 appearances, scoring eight goals, including a hat-trick at Chester City F.C. in a 4–4 draw on 27 August. Akpo Sodje performances caught the eye of Port Vale F.C.'s manager Martin Foyle, who won Akpo Sodje signature in May 2006.

Port Vale

On 5 August 2006, Akpo Sodje prolific strike partnership with Leon Constantine had begun – Constantine scoring a brace and Sodje putting the third past Leyton Orient F.C. in a 3–0 win. Three days later Akpo Sodje scored the only goal at Boundary Park. The pair teamed up to put one each past Preston North End F.C. in the Football League Cup, by the season's end the pair had 42 goals, sixteen coming from Sodje. On 10 March 2007, Akpo Sodje also became the first Port Vale player to score four goals in an away league match since Lewis Campbell (footballer) in 1893, as Vale completed a 5–1 victory at Millmoor against Rotherham United F.C.. Awarded with the Port Vale F.C. Player of the Year, Akpo Sodje stated Akpo Sodje aim of trying to beat Constantine's 26 goals last season and try to get Vale into the Championship in 2007–08 Port Vale F.C. season.

Sheffield Wednesday

Vale sold Sodje for an undisclosed fee in August 2007, and the player signed a three-year contract with Sheffield Wednesday F.C.. The bid (believed to be around £300,000) was made after Sodje was placed on the transfer list, at Akpo Sodje own request. At the same time, Wednesday were also attempting to buy Sam from Reading F.C., though the deal did not go through.

Akpo Sodje made Akpo Sodje debut by coming on as a substitute for Jermaine Johnson in the 63rd minute on 1 September 2007 at Hillsborough Stadium, against Bristol City F.C. in a 1–0 loss. Akpo Sodje full debut came in another 1–0 loss against Preston at Deepdale on 15 September. Akpo Sodje scored Akpo Sodje first goal for the club on 3 November away at Plymouth Argyle F.C. in the 52nd minute to help Akpo Sodje club win 2–1. After not scoring in Akpo Sodje first six starts and two substitute appearances Akpo Sodje first goal spurred Akpo Sodje on to score a total of seven league goals in 16 starts and three substitute appearances in Akpo Sodje first season at the club, including a brace in a 5–0 victory over Southampton F.C. on 10 November. After being hailed by some Wednesdayites as "The black David Hirst (footballer)", because of Akpo Sodje strength and determination, Sodje cemented Akpo Sodje place in Wednesday folklore with the opening goal in their 2–0 win over fierce rivals Sheffield United on 19 January. Unfortunately for Akpo Sodje new fans, Akpo Sodje season was cut short by an ankle injury in February. Despite this setback, Akpo Sodje was still voted striker of the year by fans of the club.

Sodje started the 2008–09 in English football season by scoring two goals and setting one up for strike partner Marcus Tudgay in a 4–1 win over Burnley F.C.. However Akpo Sodje also picked up a hamstring injury in the match and had to be substituted after just 21 minutes. Akpo Sodje made Akpo Sodje return coming off of the bench for Jermaine Johnson after 68 minutes against Steel City derby Sheffield United F.C.. Injury limited Akpo Sodje to only nine further appearances that season. Akpo Sodje picked up a hamstring injury in April.

Charlton Athletic

On 14 November, Sodje joined Akpo Sodje brother Sam Sodje at Charlton Athletic. Initially signed on a 28 day emergency loan, this signing was made with an option of making the deal permanent. Akpo Sodje made Akpo Sodje debut on the same day, coming on for Dave Mooney. Sodje scored at Yeovil Town F.C. seven days later, after Akpo Sodje brother was sent off. On 31 January 2010, Akpo Sodje returned to Charlton Athletic on loan until the end of the season. On 20 May 2010, Sodje signed a permanent deal with the Addicks after participating in enough games to activate a clause in Akpo Sodje loan deal. Sodje mainly appeared for Charlton as a substitute during the 2010–11 Charlton Athletic F.C. season season. Akpo Sodje made Akpo Sodje debut two days later, setting up the opening goal in a 2–0 win against St. Mirren F.C.. Sodje scored Akpo Sodje first goal for the club in their next game, a 2–1 win over Kilmarnock F.C.. Sodje scored six goals for "Hibs" in the latter part of the 2010–11 season, as well as winning a penalty in an Edinburgh derby which saw opposing player Marius Žaliūkas sent off, but became a squad player in the following season. In January 2012, "Hibs" allowed Sodje to join Belgium club KVC Westerlo on trial,

Tianjin Teda

In March 2012, Akpo Sodje signed a contract with Chinese Super League side Tianjin Teda F.C., then managed by Josip Kuže. The club represent the city of Tianjin, and play at the 37,450 capacity TEDA Football Stadium. The league restricts clubs to sign only five non-Chinese players, the other four in 2012 Tianjin Teda F.C. season being Lucian Goian, Sjoerd Ars, Veliče Šumulikoski, and Milan Susak.


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