MOST professional footballers head for the beach and put their feet up during their well-earned summer break.

But for Colchester United striker Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, it was a very different story last year.

While his team-mates were heading for the sun loungers, the 25-year-old was busy banging in the goals on loan at Derry City in the League of Ireland.

“It was weird playing in the summer because you tend to associate it with holidays and that stuff," said Ogedi-Uzokwe, who came on as a late substitute for Colchester in their 1-1 draw at Morecambe yesterday.

"But we got a wee break there and it was nice."

Ogedi-Uzokwe arrived on loan at Derry from Colchester last February and made quite an impression during his time in Ireland.

He ended up as the league’s golden boot winner with 14 goals and helped Derry secure European qualification.

“It was a good experience in Ireland; I learnt a lot there and I really enjoyed it,” said Ogedi-Uzokwe.

“The atmosphere in the grounds was so good and even if we were losing, they were still singing and passionate, which spurred us on.

“Football is played well there as most teams there play the ball on the floor, so it was very good.

“It’s different to League Two in that their football is more about passing and moving, even though it’s still physical.

“I preferred it because I like the ball on the floor and it was a positive.

“We play like that at Colchester and it was good for me to go out there and play like that.

“It was a very good achievement to get Derry into Europe because the season before, I think they came seventh or eighth.

“We got fourth place and into Europe, so it was a massive achievement and I’ve learnt a lot from that.

“It was a very positive experience.

“I got a couple of hat-tricks while I was out there which was very good and I learnt a lot out there.”

Now he is back at Colchester, Ogedi-Uzokwe is confident he can hit the goal trail again – and repeat the kind of prolific goalscoring form he produced in Ireland.

For Ogedi-Uzokwe, his goalscoring exploits in Ireland were a return to the kind of clinical form he produced at Maldon and Tiptree, which led to him to being snapped up by Colchester United in January, 2018.

The striker is hoping that once he finds the net for the first time since returning to Colchester, the goals will flow.

Ogedi-Uzokwe said: “I’m 25 now and I just need to be playing and hopefully doing well and scoring goals.

“It all comes with confidence and I got more confident in Ireland, as the season went on.

“I think once I get my first for Colchester since coming back here, the rest will follow and it becomes easier.

“I’d been off since the end of October, came back in in December and have training well.

“Towards the end of the season in Ireland, I felt very tired and leggy and I did need it.

“I’m just happy to be back playing, to be fair and I’m hoping to score goals.

“Everyone has made it easy for me since I’ve been back.

“The boys have been good and the management have spoken to me and told me what to do and given me my programme.

“Everyone’s doing well so when you come in, you have to keep that same quality.

“It’s easier when everyone is doing well because it inspires you to do the same and work hard.”