In-form Femi is ‘best in the league’
Femi Ilesanmi is emerging as one of the best left-backs in League Two – according to Dagenham & Redbridge boss John Still.
The 21-year-old is something of a cult hero on the Victoria Road terraces for his no-nonsense approach, undeniable commitment and his unique style of running with the ball with his mouth wide open – bringing a whole new meaning to the ‘dribble’.
But Still believes the former Ashford Town defender is beginning to win admirers further afield than east London.
“Femi’s been terrific so far this season,” said Still.
“He looks like the best full-back in this league by a mile. He’s come along unbelievably.
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“We always felt he would, purely because he’s so difficult to beat. He had to add the other side to his game, he hasn’t perfected that yet, but he’s improving.
“We think Gavin Hoyte can do that as well. So we’re hoping both of our full-backs will be good this year.
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“We’ve always liked Femi and felt he would come through. The problem is we only have one left-back, but that’s what we have to work with.”
Ilesanmi is the only recognised left-back currently in the Daggers squad, after Damien McCrory moved to Burton Albion in the summer.
Finances dictate that Still is unlikely to add to his squad before the transfer window shuts on Friday.
And instead the Daggers chief hopes the club’s younger players can follow Ilesanmi’s example and stake their claims for first team football this season.
“We’re hoping for big things from Dwight Gayle,” added Still. “DJ Green has got to make his mark, he’s looked better this year.
“A few of the young ones are pushing on and hopefully will do well.”