• Nathan Smith

New Exeter City Striker Offrande Zanzala on his move to the Grecians and "dream start"

Offrande Zanzala believes that a move to Exeter City was just what he needed, as he looks to continue his great start for the Grecians.

Following his loan arrival from Barrow, the striker opened his account in his debut against Scunthorpe as St James Park in a 2-0 win.

Zanzala was delighted to get off the mark for Exeter and was just as happy to secure Exeter’s first win after a six-game winless run.

“I think it’s a dream for a striker to get off the mark early doors, first game in front of the Exeter fans as well, which is always a credit to celebrate my first goal for Exeter.

“As well as getting three points that was needed for the team so a good start.”

Moving up the league on loan is rare, with Zanzala joining from 21st placed Barrow but it was a no-brainer for the striker to make the move.

“As a striker you want to get as many goals as you can, I think that’s the most important thing for myself, to come out on loan and get goals, to keep going in terms of my targets from the start of the season and to hear Exeter come in as well was a no-brainer, to come out here and challenge for the league.

“Speaking to the manager here, and his ambitions to do well for the club and for us to get promoted so it was something I wanted to be a part of and hopefully it can be achievable.

“Coming here on my first day, seeing the stadium and the training ground before I was a part of the team, to see the size of the stadium and the end where I scored and celebrated in, I was told it can get a bit lively which is good to play in front of.

“The training ground is good, it’s got everything you need. It ticks all the boxes, of course you want to be in the right environment to develop as a player.

“I’ve enjoyed moving here and exploring the place, a nice town centre and loads of things to do down here as well. I’ve been told before coming down by a few players at Barrow and the gaffer and the assistant manager that I will enjoy it and they were right, it’s a nice place and while I’m down here I’ll be sure to make the most of it.

“Regardless of how far it is, it was definitely worth the journey, coming down to fulfil the next part of my career, coming on loan and going for the league and challenging in a team that is doing well and competing and I can improve as a player also.”

It is no secret that Zanzala struggled to get going at Barrow, scoring three goals in 19 games for the Cumbrian outfit, but the striker believes that a change of scenery was necessary as he looks to get back to his best.

“I think any striker that’s going to a new team, you’ve got your own expectations, you’ve got expectations from the club, maybe fans as well but that shouldn’t play a massive part and you should focus on your game and what’s best for you and the team should support you and back that, which they did and the fans supported me at Barrow as well.

“It’s not necessarily that it didn’t work out, but I just needed something different really, a start somewhere else hence why I’ve come out on loan.”

“Being at Barrow we started off well, scored a few goals in the league, played in a couple cup games as well, Barrow are a good team under the gaffer Mark Cooper, and (Richard) Dryden the assistant manager but I think I needed a new environment and a change really to do what’s best for me as a player individually.”

Having heard about the Big Bank prior to joining, Zanzala was clearly happy with the fact that he was able to witness first-hand what the celebrations are like, and how that gave him a moment to cherish.

“It was crazy, scoring the goal that I scored, I had a big smile on my face, it was relief really for myself and of course seeing the fans celebrating right in front of me was crazy, and looking back on it on the video, they actually came running down very quickly, a lot of them just rushed down!

“That’s what football is for, that’s who you play football, when you score whether it’s a tap-in or a screamer you celebrate in front of the fans and you want to share that moment with them and sharing that with them it was something to remember for myself personally.”

Zanzala will look to add a second goal in as many games as the Grecians travel to the Bank’s Stadium to take on Walsall in an important League Two clash.