Fejiri Okenabirhie focussed on Dagenham & Redbridge despite suggestion of England C call-up
PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 October 2016
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Daggers winger won’t let praise affect him ahead of trip to Eastleigh
Dagenham & Redbridge winger Fejiri Okenabirhie says he is not letting thoughts of a possible call-up to the England C squad cross his mind despite a blistering start to life at Victoria Road.
The 20-year-old arrived at the Essex club in the summer from Ryman Premier outfit Harrow Borough and has started every match so far for Daggers.
His opening-day display against Southport was a delight to watch as he netted the first goal and set up the second in a 3-0 win for John Still’s men.
Okenabirhie has followed that with more scintillating showings in the ensuing weeks, adding a further two goals to sit third in the club’s scoring charts.
The ex-Arsenal youngster’s form is understood to have alerted the England C coaching staff, who can only select non-league players under the age of 23.
The first England C squad of the season is due to be announced later this month ahead of a planned meet-up for those selected for international duty.
But with Daggers set to visit Eastleigh tomorrow (Saturday) and host Wealdstone in the FA Cup before the squad is revealed, Okenabirhie is not allowing himself to think too far ahead.
“I haven’t thought about it, I’ve been focused on playing for Dagenham,” said the former Stevenage attacker.
“It’s nice to be recognised, but I’ve just got to keep focused on playing well for Dagenham and keeping us near the top of the table.”
Okenabirhie and his Daggers team-mates will hope to bounce back at Eastleigh after seeing their five-game unbeaten run in the National League come to an end with a 1-0 defeat at Torquay United on Tuesday night.
Midfielder Andre Boucaud was missing from that game having been called up to the Trinidad & Tobago squad for their Caribbean Cup qualifiers.
The 31-year-old was also away on international duty when Daggers suffered back-to-back losses against Sutton United and Boreham Wood last month.
Boucaud will again be absent for this weekend’s action, and though Okenabirhie knows the midfielder will be missed, he believes it is just a coincidence Daggers have lost while the ex-Reading trainee has been away.
“Andre is a big part of what we do. He’s a big player for us and is one of the older lads in the team. He’s seen more than some of the younger players and can guide
us through games when it is
difficult,” added Okenabirhie.
“He does get us playing as well, but I don’t think you can pin the losses down to him not playing. There’s different circumstances in each game, like on Tuesday when Scott Doe was sent off.
“There are going to be times when people are missing through injuries and suspension, so we have to be able to adapt to that.”