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Former Doncaster Rovers attacker makes move to Cambridge United

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Cambridge United new signing Fejiri Okenabirhie. Picture: Cambridge United (58314209)
Cambridge United new signing Fejiri Okenabirhie. Picture: Cambridge United (58314209)

Fejiri Okenabirhie is looking to kickstart his career after joining Cambridge United.

The 26-year-old attacker has signed for the U’s on a one-year deal, having been released by Doncaster Rovers at the end of last season.

The striker has not played since May 2021 after suffering an Achilles tendon problem, which required surgery earlier this year.

“The reality is that if he was fit and flying last season, he wouldn’t be here. But we’ve got a player of really high pedigree who we think athletically adds to the group of players in the attacking line that helps us become the team we want to be,” said United head coach Mark Bonner about the new signing.

“I think he’s a goal threat, and I think in attacking positions we’ve got some excellent players, and some really good attacking threats.

“It’s quite exciting because the depth of that unit is so strong. He’s going to be a little bit of time away from being able to play. We know that and we’ve taken the punt that we will get him fit and back to full shape.

“If we can get him flying, and make the same dent on other players that we have with him then he will be in for a good time here. He will entertain us and help us win some games, which is what it’s all about.”

Okenabirhie was an apprentice at Stevenage, during which time he had spells on loan at Cambridge City and Royston Town, and after dropping into non-League with first Harrow Borough and then Dagenham & Redbridge, he signed for League One side Shrewsbury Town on a two-year deal.

Doncaster snapped on Okenabirhie on a two-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee in January 2020, but he suffered the serious injury after 18 months.

“I’m looking to get back on the pitch and get back to doing what I do well,” said Okenabirhie.

“Obviously being here at Cambridge is a fresh start for me and I’m looking forward to helping the team.

“I’ve been playing League One for the last few years, doing well, scoring goals so it was obviously a setback but I see that as in the past now and behind me.

“I can’t change it so I’m looking forward now to getting back to my best with Cambridge.

“Speaking to the manager and Ben (Strang, United’s sporting director), they really believe in me and what can help me get back to my best and that’s what you want to hear as a player, especially after having a tough time.

“It was quite an easy decision to come here.”

Okenabirhie did pre-season with Doncaster, but is lacking in match minutes, especially having not played since May 2021.

“I will have to speak to the manager and work out what’s best to get me to help the team when the time is right,” he said.

“I just trust in what the manager has planned and, at the end of the day, just want to be there for the team and be ready to show what I can do.”

Okenabirhie added: “I’ve seen the positive vibes that are around the club and it’s something that attracted me, and since I’ve been in the door, it’s been everything I expected as well.”

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