Former Brighton forward makes a flying start to non-league season

David Ajiboye. Picture by Stephen Goodger
David Ajiboye. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Worthing boss Adam Hinshelwood has praised David Ajiboye’s start to the season but feels there’s still more to come from the former Brighton forward.

Ajiboye, 19, netted his sixth goal in seven matches in Worthing's 1-0 Velocity Trophy win at Leatherhead last night.

He had also scored the second in Worthing’s 3-1 victory at Faversham in the FA Cup first qualifying round on Saturday, which set up a tie at National South Chelmsford in the next round.

Like a number of the club’s young stars, Ajiboye has spent time at professional clubs. He was in the academies at Crystal Palace and Tottenham before spending three years at Brighton.

He was released by the Seagulls in the summer and after he turned down a contract with Maidstone, Ajiboye agreed a one-year deal with Worthing. He has started the season in outstanding form and Hinshelwood feels he’s just one of the players in the squad who can move up the leagues.

Hinshelwood said: “I’ve got the utmost belief in David. He’s a fantastic talent for this level and I’m not really surprised with the quality he’s shown.

“There’s definitely more to come. He’s a lad who wants to work hard on his game and we want to help him progress and become the best he can be.”

Asked whether Ajiboye could move up the leagues and play higher, Hinshelwood said: “Potentially. He’s still got lots and lots of learning to do but he seems focused to do that.

“Just getting regular game time is important for David. He’s playing regular minutes week in, week out, and when you’re in a rich vein of form like he is, it’s important for you to know that you’re not going to be dragged off after 60 minutes if it’s not quite going your way.

“He’s definitely a lad with potential but we’ve got lots of lads with potential here that can progress up without a question. They’ve just got to stay hungry to keep learning and improving, which I’m sure they will do. It’s exciting to see where some of these players could end up.”

Speaking before the season started, Ajiboye hoped to hit 20 goals this year – and Hinshelwood admits it’s a target the young forward can hit: “I don’t really set him targets because you don’t want him to be concentrating solely on scoring goals.

“It’s important he racks up assists as well. If there’s the opportunity he can set someone else up, we want him to do that. But he’s definitely a player who can be looking for 20 goals and 15 assists probably, with the pace and quality he’s got.

“I’m pleased with the start he’s made but that’s all it is. He’s got to make sure he keeps on improving and then it will be a good season for him.”