Not many players find the time to juggle a successful football career with studying for a degree but Reds’ new right-back Lanre Oyebanjo has done just that.
And having joined Crawley Town on Wednesday along with left-back Ryan Dickson the 24-year-old - who completed a finance masters degree at City University London last summer while playing for York - says he cannot wait to make his mark in League One.
The powerful full-back turned down offers from other League One clubs to pen a two-year-deal at the Checkatrade.com Stadium after turning down a contract offer to stay at York City.
“I’m delighted to sign for a great club like Crawley, they’re a league above what I’ve been playing and I can’t wait to start,” said Oyebanjo, who studied for his degree in Mathematics and Finance in his spare time and graduated after passing his exams last year.
“I had a couple of offers from other League One clubs but the ambition of Crawley to try to challenge for promotion was a real selling point.
“I spoke to the manager at length and I feel he can really improve me as a player. It’s a big move for me and hopefully for the club as well.”
Wednesday’s double signing of Oyebanjo and Dickson, 27, continues manager John Gregory’s rebuilding job after signing veteran goalkeeper Brian Jensen and Jimmy Smith from Stevenage.
With contract offers being withdrawn for Mike Jones, Mat Sadler, Jamie Proctor and Dannie Bulman it brings the total number of Crawley summer exits up to 15.
“With a lot of players leaving it’s a fresh start, it will almost be a completely new team so it’s something I’m really excited to be part of.” Oyebanjo said.
Oyebanjo, whose family are based in London, played with Reds skipper Josh Simpson for a season at Histon in the Conference before moving to join York, where he enjoyed three hugely successful years.
In his first season he helped the Minstermen achieve promotion back to the Football League with a play-off final victory over Luton Town and he scored City’s second goal in their FA Trophy final win over Newport at Wembley.
Last season he was named York’s Player of the Season as the club only just missed out on promotion, losing in the play-off semi-final against Fleetwood 1-0 over the two legs.
In total he made 101 appearances for York, scoring two goals.
“It was a great season at York last year, we only just missed out on promotion and I can’t thank them enough,” said the player, who played a handful of games on the right wing last year.
“I was there three great years and had success every season so it was tough leaving, but I felt the time was right to progress my career and I feel Crawley is the right place to do that.”