York City's Lanre Oyebanjo hits right note for versatility

York Press: York City’s Lanre Oyebanjo. Picture: Gordon Clayton York City’s Lanre Oyebanjo. Picture: Gordon Clayton

LANRE Oyebanjo is hoping his versatility will keep him in York City’s first XI.

The former West Ham schoolboy has played both as a right-back and an attacking midfielder at separate stages of the last two Minstermen matches.

Oyebanjo, 22, reckons such flexibility can prove advantageous in a squad where nobody is guaranteed a starting shirt.

Last season’s 20-goal top scorer Matty Blair spent a long spell on the bench at the start of the current campaign, while £60,000 striker Jason Walker was dropped at the weekend after previously being an ever-present during 2012/13.

Specialist midfielders such as Paddy McLaughlin, Jonathan Smith, Lee Bullock and Michael Potts have also all fallen behind supposedly out-of-position players like Dan Parslow, Oyebanjo and Blair in the pecking order this season.

Ex-Republic of Ireland under-21 international Oyebanjo, who has started City’s last three matches, has underlined the importance of playing to your full potential in every match, whether in your most-recognised position or not.

He said: “I feel I am best at right-back. That’s where I feel natural but I am more than happy, if the gaffer wants to put me in midfield, to do a job for the team to the best of my ability.

“It’s all about working hard to get my name on that team-sheet whatever the position and being able to occupy two positions gives the gaffer options and gives me more of a chance of being in the team. We have a very competitive squad and, if you are not on your game, the gaffer will change things around.

“You’ve got to put in 100 per cent and fight for your place whatever position you play in because there are a lot of players who can play in numerous positions like Dan Parslow and Jon Challinor.”

Oyebanjo is also no newcomer to midfield, having started out there in men’s football.

“At 16, I was playing for Waltham Forest as part of a midfield three in the Ryman League division one north and enjoyed it even though I’ve always favoured playing at right-back,” he recalled.

“Playing in midfield is a challenge but I enjoy trying to get to knock-downs and perhaps popping off a shot. I will take a strike if things open up and I have the pace to push on.”

Oyebanjo agrees with manager Gary Mills’ belief that he has a spectacular goal in his locker too and could look to participate in more Wigginton Road shooting drills in coming weeks.

“I think it’s coming,” said Oyebanjo, on the possibility of a net-bulging strike.

“Against Wimbledon, I missed a header but then the goalkeeper pulled off a great save from my shot and I know that, if I can strike the ball right and get in on target, I can work the ’keeper.

“Maybe I will work on that a bit because more and more opportunities are arising for me to hit the target and put one in. Even though I’m with the defenders for the majority of the time in training, I went with the strikers last Friday and I might do that more often now.”

Comments (5)

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12:57pm Thu 22 Nov 12

rogue84 says...

not ashamed to admit really liking this lad. in my opinion he is one of the first names on the team-sheet and was man of the match at Wembley in the play-off final.
We are a lot more solid with him in the back-four, but i also rate him in that midfield position where he looked excellent alongside Meredith towards the end of 2011/12.
keep up the good work Banj, love to see a 'worldy' from you on saturday infront of the Longhurst!
not ashamed to admit really liking this lad. in my opinion he is one of the first names on the team-sheet and was man of the match at Wembley in the play-off final. We are a lot more solid with him in the back-four, but i also rate him in that midfield position where he looked excellent alongside Meredith towards the end of 2011/12. keep up the good work Banj, love to see a 'worldy' from you on saturday infront of the Longhurst! rogue84
  • Score: 0

1:49pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Budgie says...

Top man.
Top man. Budgie
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Yorkieroy60 says...

What a great attitude!-yes should be one of the first names on the team sheet
when fit-love the guy and the way he plays the game-a goal or two from him would be welcomed with great enthusiasm to say the least!
What a great attitude!-yes should be one of the first names on the team sheet when fit-love the guy and the way he plays the game-a goal or two from him would be welcomed with great enthusiasm to say the least! Yorkieroy60
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5:46pm Thu 22 Nov 12

OLD - HEAD says...

I have always liked Lanre Oyebanjo ever since I first saw him playing for Histon. He adds a bit of pace and power to our attacking play, and his long throws are an added bonus. I prefer to see him at right back rather than mid-field, but to be honest he is not bad in mid-field. Interesting to read ( in another article) that he likes to play at Bootham Crescent because the crowd gets behind the team. Well thats a turn up for the book after some of the comments about a few idiots booing City players. Of course Lanre is quite right, for the crowd at Bootham Crescent do get behind the team when they are playing at home. We are due a good home result for those fans, lets hope its on Saturday against Torquay. But Torquay will be coming to Bootham Crescent on the back of their worst home performance so far this season. Their Manager will be demanding a much better display, so we know that it wont be easy.
I have always liked Lanre Oyebanjo ever since I first saw him playing for Histon. He adds a bit of pace and power to our attacking play, and his long throws are an added bonus. I prefer to see him at right back rather than mid-field, but to be honest he is not bad in mid-field. Interesting to read ( in another article) that he likes to play at Bootham Crescent because the crowd gets behind the team. Well thats a turn up for the book after some of the comments about a few idiots booing City players. Of course Lanre is quite right, for the crowd at Bootham Crescent do get behind the team when they are playing at home. We are due a good home result for those fans, lets hope its on Saturday against Torquay. But Torquay will be coming to Bootham Crescent on the back of their worst home performance so far this season. Their Manager will be demanding a much better display, so we know that it wont be easy. OLD - HEAD
  • Score: 0

11:35pm Thu 22 Nov 12

TerryYork says...

Top guy. Has been great since he arrived. Don't know a City fan who has a bad word to say about him.
Top guy. Has been great since he arrived. Don't know a City fan who has a bad word to say about him. TerryYork
  • Score: 0

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