Young Ákos Onódi has spoken up about his departure from Aston Villa this summer when his contract wasn’t renewed.
Following his departure from Villa Park, the Hungarian goalkeeper provided some quotes for the media in his home country.
Saves against Liverpool should have been the beginning of something big, but…
Ákos Onódi, a former goalkeeper for the youth squad of Aston Villa, has spoken out about leaving Villa Park to play for Cyprus’ F.C. Akritas Chlorakas during the transfer window this summer.
The 20-year-old Hungarian player moved from Győri ETO FC to ‘The Villans’ in 2018. He first joined up with Bodymoor Heath’s academy team, and he later made a total of 36 appearances for the under-18s and under-21s bands.
His only first-team appearance came in the loss versus Liverpool in the FA Cup third-round in January 2021. The following year, he signed a loan deal with Worcestershire club Bromsgrove Sporting. He had become a free agent in the summer after Villa headmen decided not to renew his contract, and Akritas Chlorakas inked him to a three-year contract.
So, in January 2021, while Dean Smith’s first team was experiencing a Covid outbreak, he was thrown into the starting lineup against Jürgen Klopp’s nearly full-strength ‘Reds’, which included Sadio Mané and Mo Salah, amongst others. Villa were forced to field a side made up of Under-18 and Under-23 players including Louie Barry who scored the only goal for Villa. Liverpool won 4-1, in the end, thanks to goals from Mané (2), Gini Wijnaldum, and Salah.
Onódi faced 17 shots that evening, but he had no chance of stopping Mané’s thunderous header when it whizzed past his near post. The Hungarian international thereafter made a few spectacular stops, the first of which was to deflect Fabinho’s direct shot around the post at the 20-minute mark. Then Onódi successfully stopped Mo Salah. The young player had a great kick as well, aiming at Villa’s left flank towards Ben Chrisene while his team went after Liverpool’s Neco Williams. He fought valiantly to stave off Liverpool, and Tom Heaton thanked him after the game.
Onódi explains why he left Villa Park
He explained his decision to Nemzeti Sport, the online edition of the Hungarian daily paper, saying that his winding up in Cyprus surprised a lot of people. He stressed that his four years in England were wonderful for both his professional and personal lives.
“I have achieved results that I would not have believed even in my wildest dreams. By the fourth year (at Villa), everything that my coaches and I wrote in the career plan had been fulfilled. So as a member of Aston Villa’s first team, I could have been the number three goalkeeper. However, I would have had few opportunities in the upcoming season. I could have expected three or four games for U23s, which is not enough. So the decision was made to continue my career elsewhere,” the Győr-born goalkeeper stated.
He expressed there was interest from both English and Italian clubs, but due to his inexperience, they would have preferred him to play as the number three option. His primary concern was joining a team where he would have the opportunity to play.
“My manager and I started from the assumption that this (Cypriot) championship was an excellent stepping stone for both Roland Sallai and Attila Szalai. It served as a great springboard for them. My first impressions are excellent. I really like the rhythm of life and culture here, I think I have signed for the right place,” Onódi spoke about Akritas Chlorakas, who are at 1-1 at the start of the 2022-23 Cyta Championship (Cypriot Championship) and are already making some stirs among the odds on bookies evaluated at bookmaker-expert.com/bookmakers/balkans-bookmakers/ and having this exotic league on their offers.
Onódi calls the moment he found out he was leaving Villa the “Chapter ends”
The under-23 goalkeeper found out he would be leaving Aston Villa at the end of May. The Hungarian, who, as we previously mentioned, earned his first-team debut against Liverpool in the FA Cup in 2021, said the following upon leaving for a new challenge: “This chapter in my life ends. These four years will always have a special place in my heart along with all the coaches and staff members who I got to know and worked with at Aston Villa,” the added is his lengthy statement, “It is not a goodbye, rather a see you soon kind of season-ending because I hope to see everyone along our ways someday.”
Following the player’s departure, Onódi’s trainer and tutor at Villa, Mark Naylor, issued this message: “Today Ákos Onódi leaves our programme at AVFC. What a fantastic human being, a true professional. He leaves with our best wishes and some great memories. Success is a journey, not a destination.”