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Deji feels privileged to be captain after eventful week

Interview with Wimbledon's new skipper

7 August 2018

Deji Oshilaja spoke of his pride after leading Wimbledon to victory as captain, but he was quick to dedicate the win to retired former team-mate Jon Meades.

Next up for Wimbledon is Coventry City at Cherry Red Records Stadium, a match that will be Deji’s first home match as skipper after the impressive opening day win at Fleetwood.

It was certainly eventful for completely different reasons in the build-up to the big kick-off with Deji named captain in the same week as his close friend Meades retired.

“It was tough for all the boys to take and we wanted to go out there and put the performance on for him,” said Deji, who first got to know Meades back in their Cardiff Academy days. “We dedicated the three points to Meadesy. “It’s been tough, and I spoke to him personally. I’m sure he’ll be fine with whatever career path he chooses.

“It’s football, but sometimes you take these things for granted. When things like that happen, as a group you realise how lucky we are or how fortunate we are to be able to play in front of our fans on a Saturday. I think it definitely hit home, but as a group we stuck together and we managed to get a good result.

“The boys were brilliant against Fleetwood and those who watched the match saw that we executed our game plan well. I thought we could have had a few more. The defence is shaping up well, considering it was the first time we’d played together. I thought we were really solid and that is testament to the boys in front of us as well. I thought the strikers worked tirelessly and Andy Barcham and Mitch Pinnock worked well on the wings. Liam Trotter and Tom Soares were excellent in the middle. We earned the clean sheet as a team, but as a defence we were buzzing about it.”

On being selected as Wimbledon’s new captain, Deji said: “I’m really happy and excited that the gaffer has selected me to be captain - to represent the boys and to be that connection between them and management.

“Personally, it’s a great achievement for me; a great achievement for the work that I have done. For the manager to show that faith in me, I really appreciate that. The boys have taken to me and said that I fully deserve it, so those things stuck with me.

“To hear your peers, say that you deserve it is the main thing for me. To hear the staff say you deserve it is one thing, but to hear the players say it really touched me.”

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