Ilesanmi thankful for summer wake-up call from Daggers boss John Still
Dagenham & Redbridge left back Femi Ilesanmi feels the summer tranfer listing acted as the kick up the backside he needed after starting the season in fine form.
In May Dagenham & Redbridge left-back Femi Ilesanmi was transfer listed by the club, but fast forward six months and the 21-year-old has enjoyed a whirlwind start to the season.
That included a fine performance in the 5-0 win over Rotherham United on Saturday, when the former Ashford Town youngster set up two goals.
And Ilesanmi feels the transfer listing was the kick up the backside that he required.
“If I am being honest I thought it was needed, I needed a reality check,” he said.
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“I realised as quickly as your career could come it can go as well, so it was the kick up the backside really with the transfer listing.
“It just made me hungrier and I wanted to prove them wrong for putting me on the list.”
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Since being listed, Ilesanmi took it upon himself to get into training earlier and leave later to prove his worth to boss John Still and his management team.
“I used to have trouble getting into work early because of the train,” he added.
“But now I drive so there is no excuse for me to be late.
“I make sure I come in an hour early, do work before we start training and stay out and do extra work.”
That appears to be working for the 21-year-old who has earned rave reviews this season, including the highest praise from his manager.
“He has improved an awful lot. When we brought him here he was as raw as you could get and when I looked at him, if I am honest, I wasn’t sure,” said Still.
“When we decided to take him it was because he was so raw, we knew he might be hard to beat, I wasn’t sure about possession and I have to give him credit.
“He got in early, worked hard on his game and if there is a better left-back in this division I haven’t seen him.”
The promising defender believes if Daggers can play to their potential, results will continue to go their way, starting at Burton Albion at the weekend.
“If we play to our potential, then I think we can beat anyone in this league,” said Ilesanmi.
“We can surprise a few people. Hopefully we can keep up performances like today.
“As long as we focus on ourselves we will slowly rise up the table.”