Simon Wright takes a look at our new arrival Tope Obadeyi who has joined Hereford on loan from Banbury United for the rest of the season. 

The speedy exit of the rather peripheral Koby Arthur to the Black Country’s no 3 non-league club was quickly followed by a new arrival. Temitope Ayoluwa Obadeyi is comfortable anywhere across the front line. Potentially that’s a short-term upgrade for us. Obadeyi is on loan from Banbury though It’s a strange sort of loan which runs to the end of his existing contract. His host club may be then be a step 3 club and not very sexy.

Tope hails from a Nigerian family but was born and bred in the second city. His west Birmingham school is almost within walking distance of this scribe’s home. At 34., he’s another addition to our veteran ranks. Although he appears to be Manchester-based these days, presumably he has family in the second city, hence his spells with Southern-based clubs. He describes his day job as “Protection advisor” which I interpret as selling insurance rather than hiring muscle. Probably a mobile modern job which requires only a mobile phone and a laptop.

Banbury are not having a good season this term and it’s hard to flourish in those circumstances. Our new arrival is best described as a semi-regular performer for them (1,100 minutes) and before you ask he didn’t leave the subs bench when the Puritans visited the Street. Tope has managed only one goal this season. Compare that to his spell at Gloucester at the back end of last season with 9 goals in 23 appearances, a key reason why the Tigers crashed the play-off party in injury time on the last day of the season. Tope scored in each of their last 3 games including two winning goals. That impressive cameo suggests his goal shortcoming this term is down to the squad not the individual.

His early CV is impressive. He was capped at England U18, U19 and Under 20 level, scoring 6 times for his country. He shared a schoolroom with Daniel Sturridge and the pair joined Coventry city academy together though their paths quickly diverted. Sturridge had an impressive career at the top level. His old school chum made a decent living though may not feel he fulfilled his early promise of playing in the Premier League for Bolton under Gary Megson. It’s ironic that just hours after I lampooned Jaanai Gordon on social media for his constant seeking of greener grass that HFC became the 16th club for our new Brummie. Our new attacker has played in England, Scotland, France and Portugal.

In recent years, job offers became thin for our new recruit, probably due to covid and his age. He’s always previously played full time football so was forced to reassess and look at part-time clubs. The purple patch at Gloucester raised his profile although Tope is more of a goalmaker than scorer. He does remain popular at Killie, where he found the net 12 times in 68 matches for Kilmarnock. He even bravely described Kilmarnock “as a nice town” which takes a bit of swallowing.

In recent games, the absence of Mendes has left us looking rather one sided and a tad ineffectual. Our newbie provides a vital alternative option. “Alright Tope”

By Editor

Lifelong Hereford supporter who has endured the rise and fall of the club through progressive generations. Sports journalist, broadcaster and commentator who will never forget his Edgar Street roots.

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