NEW signing Chinedu Uche has rediscovered his love for football at Hyde United.
The 20-year-old former Oldham Athletic professional has regained his appetite following almost a year away from the game.
The once highly rated Uche was surprisingly released by Latics shortly after making his first-team debut as a half-time substitute in the 5-2 home defeat by Northampton Town in the final game of the 2018-19 season.
Uche had unsuccessful trials at other clubs before deciding he needed a clean break.
He explained: “It had reached the point when I was not enjoying my football and I needed time to recharge my batteries at home.
“My family knew I was having a hard time not playing football, but they supported my decision.
“It was difficult. I missed football loads, but I needed time away.”
Uche added it was through Chris Millington, one of his former coaches at Latics, that he was signed by Hyde after a successful trial.
He said: “Chris recommended me to Hyde after we had a chat.
“He told me if I joined Hyde and did well there was a pathway back to the full-time game.”
Uche, who had been at Latics since Under-13s, admitted his release had come as a shock.
He continued: “I thought I had been doing well, but football is all about opinions.
“I thought I would be kept on, but the powers that be saw otherwise and it was time to move on and find another club.”
Uche is happy at Hyde describing them as a good group who have made him welcome.
“I have settled in fine and am enjoying my football again,” he said.
Uche, who is from Moston, was recommended to Latics by a PE teacher at East Manchester Academy who was also a scout for the club.
He has previously starred in junior football for Clayton Villa and Manchester Tigers.
Uche came through the ranks at Latics with the likes of Festus Arthur, recently transferred from Stockport County to Hull City, and rising star Tom Hamer.
Tigers’ manager Dave McGurk has already seen the potential that once made Uche a highly rated young player.
He said: “There’s no doubting Chinedu’s ability. He just needs an arm around the shoulder and to feel wanted which he is here.
“He needs encouragement and trust from a manager which he will get here where he will play a lot of games.”
McGurk added it is difficult for young players, continuing: “Chinedu was rated highly and then suddenly had a manager who suddenly didn’t rate him.
“He probably needed a break to get his hunger back.
“If he does well here, it is a platform to get back into the league or into full-time football.”