David Ajiboye is determined to show Worthing’s fans what they missed out on in his first spell with the club.
Ajiboye joined Worthing on a one-month loan from Brighton in February 2017, but was sent off on his debut and was then suspended for the rest of his loan spell.
The 19-year-old forward was released by Albion at the end of last season and had a trial with Maidstone – where he was offered a contract – before signing for Worthing on a one-year deal at the weekend after being impressed with the squad’s quality.
Worthing kick off the new season at home to Wingate & Finchley on Saturday and Ajiboye, who has scored three times in pre-season, feels he still has a point to prove to the Woodside Road faithful.
He said: “I just want to show the fans what they missed before.
“When I came on the loan spell, it was unfortunate what happened but I know I can win the fans back and show them what I can do.
“The thing that made me want to come here was when I heard them singing my name at one point in a friendly.
“It made me feel ‘I’ve missed this’ and I thought ‘where else am I going to get this?’.
“Also, in one of the friendlies I heard the fans singing Lucas Covolan’s name. It made me think this is a special club and I want to be a part of it.”
Ajiboye admitted he was hoping to get a deal with a higher-league club this summer after leaving Albion but feels he made the right decision in joining Worthing.
He said: “Over the summer I was hoping to get some league clubs interested and there were a couple.
“Hinsh (Adam Hinshelwood; Worthing manager) was messaging me, asking how things were going and he kept telling me ‘you should at least come down and see what it’s like’.
“I like Hinsh, I was with him at Brighton and I trust him, so I thought I’d come down and see. I came to a few training sessions and I just enjoyed the vibe. All the players made me feel welcome and when we had a training match, I was surprised with the talent here.
“There’s some good young players and there’s talent all over the pitch in the first team. Jesse Starkey has played for Gillingham and Brighton, there’s Callum Kealy and other talented players all over the pitch, especially Lucas the goalkeeper.
“I’ve never seen a keeper so good at this level.
“I feel like joining was a good decision to make.
“My goal is to play league football but I know Worthing’s aims are to get to the National League and I think the aims are realistic. We can do it with the squad we’ve got and at the moment, all my focus is definitely at Worthing.”
Ajiboye, who was in the academies at Crystal Palace and Tottenham before spending three years at Brighton, feels Hinshelwood will get the best out of him this season.
He said: “The position Hinsh has got me playing is as a right-sided attacking midfielder and I’m enjoying it.
“I feel like it’s getting the best out of me.
“I’m looking to score around 20-plus goals hopefully this season. The form I’ve got right now, I feel confident enough to get that number of goals.”