09:00AM, Saturday 09 June 2018
Photo by Mick Vogel
Centre half Ayo Obileye has turned his back on an unsettled period at Eastleigh in the hope that he can prove to everyone he’s capable of playing in the professional game.
The 23-year-old, who was released by the Spitfires at the end of last season, has come to Maidenhead to get some stability back in his career and he’s keen to show he can play at an even higher level.
The centre-half is set to replace Jake Goodman at the heart of the United defence. He’s been on the books at Charlton and started his career at Sheffield Wednesday before dropping down the divisions to play for Dagenham & Redbridge and, latterly, Eastleigh.
He fired in seven goals last season, including two from the spot against Maidenhead, but Obileye claims he never felt at home with the Spitfires.
“It’s been a tough time at Eastleigh,” he said. “They’ve had five managers in just a few seasons and I was unsettled there.
“I’ve needed a change. The side was a bit of a mix and match, and there was also a toxic feeling. I’ve come to Maidenhead, I’ve met the gaffer (Alan Devonshire) and he’s told me how he wants me to play. It’s a good opportunity for me.
“I need to play some more games and the manager has shown some faith in my ability.
“I’m going there to prove that I’ve got the ability to play in the highest league I possibly can.”
United appear to have acquired a goalscoring centre-half whose confidence in front of goal – and from the penalty spot – can’t be questioned.
“In the second half of last season I was moved into centre-half (from right-back) and we started playing well,” he said.
“I was scoring goals. But the whole time there was too unsettling.
“I might try to be on penalties (at Maidenhead). But I don’t know, the strikers might have something to say about that.
“I’d like to take them because I don’t miss. I took four or five last season and scored them all. I’m a very confident player, and I’m confident taking penalties.
“But my main aim is to keep clean sheets. If we’re doing that we’ll win more games. The goals are just a bonus.”
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