06:00PM, Thursday 07 June 2018
Photo by Mick Vogel
Maidenhead United’s new signing Ayo Obileye believes he can help take the Magpies to the next level, while developing his own game in the process.
The confident 6ft 3in 23-year-old, who netted twice against the Magpies for Eastleigh last season, is keen to perform to the best of his ability at York Road and believes the team could push for a play-off spot next season.
He is set to replace Jake Goodman in central defence, who is certain to leave the club this summer.
After two unsettled seasons with the Spitfires the centre-half is keen to revive his career with Maidenhead, a club he believes is greater than the sum of its parts because of their manager and the togetherness of the squad.
“My plan is to go there and work hard,” he said.
“I’ll first look to solidify my position in pre-season, and then will try to perform to the best of my ability to try to take Maidenhead to the next level, while also taking my own game to the next level.
“Perhaps we could finish in the top seven and push for the play-offs? You never know.”
He has played 50 times for Eastleigh over the last two seasons, often at right back, and scored seven times for the club last season.
Despite this, they released him, but Obileye admits he was looking for a change anyway.
“I was in and out of the team,” he said.
“I played 20 matches the first season and 30 in the second but many of those I was playing at right back which isn’t my position.
“Last season was a hard one for everyone, but I needed a change.
“I wanted more stability and to play matches.”
Maidenhead have one of the smallest budgets in the division but defied that to finish 12th last season.
Devonshire has said that next season could be even tougher, but Obileye thinks the squad can be even stronger.
“Sometimes the smaller clubs do better than the bigger clubs at this level,” he said.
“They aren’t one of the bigger teams but they finished above Eastleigh last season.
“Sometimes playing for the bigger clubs isn’t so great because there are so many egos.
“When you’re at a club like Maidenhead it can help you become a team player.
“The manager is keen to make a few more signings and the team we’ve got is already very good.
“They’ve got the right structure and know how to win matches.
“Everyone in the team knows what they are doing.”
The centre-half also knows that, if he impresses at York Road, a route back into league football could become available to him again.
“There are good players at Maidenhead, and they play for a good manager,” he said.
“They work hard for each other and I saw how good they were when I played them last season.
“They also develop players, which you can see from the two players who got moves from there (Barratt and Pritchard).”
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