FROM Blue Square to blue chip — Henrik Ojamaa’s story is a real modern-day football fairytale.
Just three years ago the Estonian was on loan at Stafford Rangers in the sixth tier of English football. Now he’s preparing for a crack at the Champions League with Motherwell.
It’s a rags-to-riches story that the 21-year-old desperately hopes will have a happy ending. He smiled: “Motherwell were having an amazing season when I came here, they were doing very well, and it’s got even better for me since I joined. “European football for me personally and international call-ups is something I could never have imagined before.
“Not when I think back to where I was a few years ago. I’ve watched the Champions League for as long as I can remember, it is one of the best competitions. The first one I remember being interested in was when Porto did very well in the Champions League, I was very interested tactically in how they did so well. They were underdogs as well."
“I have never played in any European matches. I’ve played in a lot of different countries so I have got a bit of a different feel for different styles of football but I have never played in Europe.”
Well will face either Fenerbahce, Panathinaikos, Dynamo Kiev or FC Copenhagen in their third round qualifier. If they navigate that they would face a play-off to reach the groups. Ojamaa hopes next Friday’s draw is kind. He added: “It’s exciting. All the teams we could get are very strong and there’s not much difference in strength between them.
"I’d like FC Copenhagen — they have got a really good team and I’ve been over there to watch them and I liked the stadium and the atmosphere so it would be good. The travel and the climate would be good for us. An away tie in Turkey would definitely be a very tough one, that’s probably the one I want least.”
Ojamaa’s stunning form for Well earned him a dream call-up for Estonia this summer. The striker starred against France, Finland and Croatia. Last night he admitted: “I gained confidence as I was playing against some top players. I could see if I could still do the things I do against them. It’s definitely given me extra confidence and I really look forward to taking that into the new season with Motherwell.”