Hakoah's Owusu: I've got nothing to prove

Ex-Adelaide United striker Lloyd Owusu says he’s got nothing to prove as he prepares to grace the main stage again with Hakoah Sydney City East against Palm Beach Sharks in the FFA Cup Round of 32 on Tuesday.

The 37-year-old former Brentford, Sheffield Wednesday and Reading man only managed one goal during 18 months with Adelaide after joining the club billed as a top striker in June 2009.

Owusu’s time with the Reds was hampered after contracting swine flu and pneumonia upon his arrival, before parting ways by mutual consent in late 2010 and returning to the UK.

However, Owusu told FourFourTwo he had no regrets about his time in Adelaide and wouldn’t use Tuesday’s return to the spotlight to prove a point.

“I left Adelaide on great terms. It’s a great club and great people, but I’ve got nothing to prove,” Owusu said.

“How many players can say they’ve had a 15-year professional career? Not many and I’ve enjoyed every step of it.”

The one-time Ghana international added: “You look back, yes I should’ve come to Adelaide and done better, but I had swine flu and pneumonia as soon as I landed and it put me back massively.

“I never had a pre-season, I wasn’t even 100 per cent to be honest, I was probably 50 per cent when I made my debut.

“By then the structure of the team was totally different to what they wanted originally when they signed me.”

After leaving the Reds, Owusu spent time with Luton Town, Barnet and junior club Slough Town before returning to Adelaide having successfully applied for permanent residency during his previous stint in Australia. After a spell with White City in SA, he made his way to Hakoah earlier this year.

“I said to myself what do I want to do? Do I need to be chasing the English game for ‘x’ amount of pounds and peanuts, or what’s the next chapter?” Owusu said.

“We decided as a family at the time, that we’d had a great time in Adelaide and we came back. I started coaching and playing at semi-professional level and giving something back to the youth. I’m enjoying it.”

Owusu has scored 14 goals for Hakoah this season, helping his side recently clinch promotion from NSW State League 1 to NPL 2.

Hakoah previously played in the NSL from 1977 to 1986 as Eastern Suburbs and Sydney City and boast former players such as John Kosmina and Ray Baartz.

The club are one of the FFA Cup’s romance stories given their current third tier status but are ambitious about returning to former glories.

“It’s been massive, with the FFA Cup coming up, promotion to the NPL 2, so it’s only going forward for the club,” Owusu added.

Hakoah’s upcoming opponents, Palm Beach, are currently the league leaders in NPL Queensland.

However, Owusu, who carved out a solid career in England’s lower leagues, knows a thing or two about romantic cup upsets.

“I recall it was a dream come true, when as a 21-year-old first year professional I scored at White Hart Lane in the League Cup,” Owusu said.

“In my second stint at Brentford, when we were in the third tier, we also knocked off Sunderland 2-1 in the fourth round of the FA Cup. They were great times.”