Charlton Athletic prodigy, “I can become whatever I want to, through Christ”

Ollie Baines connected with Charlton Athletic prodigy, Ayo Obileye reveals his dreams as a footballer and how his Christian faith gives him strength. 

What was it like being picked up by Chelsea as a schoolboy?

“It was a fantastic opportunity for me, as it was the first academy that I was signed to. The training ground, the players and coaching staff were all so great and I really enjoyed my time there.”

When you weren’t offered a contract by Chelsea, did you think your dream of being a footballer was over?

“No not at all, when I left Chelsea I knew these were the kind of things that happen in football. You choose to leave clubs or you get released by them. I knew that I had to keep the faith and work hard to get another club which I eventually did.”

What did it mean when Sheffield Wednesday came calling?

“It was such a blessing and another opportunity for me. I thought about it long and hard because I had to leave home, live with another family plus the club. At the time, Sheffield Wednesday were in League One so it was a different kind of calibre to Chelsea but I took the challenge and signed.”

You made your debut in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at just 16, what was that like?

“It was great, playing on TV at a very young age, I felt a bit nervous but that happens sometimes.”

After leaving Wednesday, you joined Charlton on a pro-contract, did you feel this was your big break?

” I wouldn’t say it was my big break, instead I just felt that it was another chance for me to break into the first team and challenge myself.”

How would you describe yourself as a player?

“I would describe myself as a ball playing centre half who is also aggressive and is not afraid of any player.”

Who is your footballing idol?

“I have a few. I’ve always looked up to players like Tony Adams, John Terry, Rio Ferdinand and Ledley King. These guys were certainly my heroes.”

Best player you’ve played against and why?

“The best player I’ve ever played against would be, Raheem Sterling. He was so intelligent with his movement. He’s just so quick and sharp.”

Career highlight so far?

“It would have to be my very first game against Bradford and scoring the winner in the F.A. Cup 3rd Round on BT Sport against Whitehawk.”

How did you become a Christian?

“I was born into a Christian family, my parents always made worshipping God a big thing and as I grew up I believed more and more in God and that’s how I came to know him.”

What does your faith mean to you?

“Faith means that I can become whatever I want to be, through Christ. When you believe in God, it gives you an extra guidance in everything that you do and also gives the the strength and belief that you can become anything that you want to be.”

Do you look up to any other Christian footballers?

“Yes, I look up to players like Odion Ighalo, Neymar and Daniel Sturridge. They’re strong believers in Christ.

I especially look up to Ighalo and Sturridge as they are playing in the Premier League. You see what they do when they step on to a football pitch and also when they score, it’s a great witness.”

What are your dreams for the future?

“My dreams is to become the best centre back in world and to play in the Premier League, Champions League and World Cup.”

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