David BanjoMaking an instant impact on his Montrose debut in January against Albion Rovers was midfielder David Banjo who grabbed a brace in the 4 - 3 defeat.
Banjo only got internatonail clearance from the English FA on the Friday night to make his debut the following day and as signed a deal to stay at the club until the end of this season.
David who spent two seasons with Arbroath scoring at Ibrox last season spent the early part of this season with junior side Kinnoull before moving to Farnborough in the Conference League.
Londoner Banjo, 22, is on a mission to put his career back together after his dreams of hitting the big time down south were shattered when Spurs released him as a teenager.
Banjo’s experience at White Hart Lane taught him to keep working hard and believing – especially after seeing Gareth Bale grow to become the world’s most expensive player.
He said: “I was signed up to the Tottenham Centre of Excellence from the age of 14 until I was 16.
“Gareth Bale was at the club during that time and it just shows you how fortunes can change in football as he’s had a phenomenal £86milion transfer to Real Madrid.
“Danny Rose was there too and he has progressed into the first team.
“After Spurs I moved into non-league football with Walton and Hersham then AFC Wimbledon but my ultimate aim was to get back into full-time football.
Midfielder Banjo has caught the eye of bigger clubs since moving north of the border and admits he has had to adjust to a change of pace since leaving the bright lights of London.
He said: “It’s been a massive culture change for me after being brought up in London.
“I stay in Perth and it’s a lot quieter than I’m used to.
Interview with David Banjo - February 2015
David Banjo is a new recruit at Links Park, in January the midfielder put pen-to-paper on a deal until the end of the season. The 24-year-old is happy to have signed for the Gable Endies and is delighted that George Shields wanted him to join the ranks at Montrose. “George [Shields] was keen to get me in, he knew a representative that knew me and once he knew I was on the market he got in contact, it just went from there.
“I was always looking for the opportunity to come back [to Scotland] in January. After I left Arbroath in the summer, I played in England and I was supposed to go to Sweden but that move fell through. When the opportunity arose to come back [to Scotland] in January, I just jumped on it.”
Despite spending a few fruitful years at Arbroath, Banjo didn’t let that faze him or deter him from joining up with Montrose. He said: “Yeah, the rivalry did cross my mind before signing, I had really good times there. I believe that life deals you a card and you have to play it. I do have respect for both clubs and I’m aware of the big rivalry between the clubs, it’s something I try not to get too caught up in to be honest.”
Upon his arrival, Banjo was impressed with the manager’s positive outlook and his plans to take the team forward. “He was looking to improve the squad and freshen up the place a bit, to give the team a lift,” Banjo said. “Hetried to be really positive and had really good plans for the club.
“When I joined we weren’t talking about relegation, we were talking about mid-table or a play-off position. If we can keep our head down, with the players we have in the dressing room there is no reason why we can’t get a mid-table spot or sneak into the play-offs. It sounded like something that I wanted to be amongst, and I’m happy to be amongst it.”
The midfielder feels at home in the Montrose dressing room, and believes that has helped him produce good displays in the three weeks since signing for the Links Park side. He commented: “My teammates were really welcoming, I’ve been in different changing rooms in the past where people keep themselves to themselves, but the guys at Montrose are all great guys and a pleasure to work with – the dressing room has a very good atmosphere.”
The midfielder scored a brace on his debut earlier this month against Albion Rovers and feels it will only help him strive to keep putting in a high level of performance. “It was really positive for me, it got me off to a good start and it got me in the right frame of mind to help this team go on to do better things. I’ve set a standard for myself and need to go on and match it week in, week out but it was a great feeling scoring against Albion Rovers. Hopefully I can go on and do well for the football club.”
Despite halting the recent run of bad results against Annan a fortnight ago, Montrose couldn’t follow it up with another positive result last week, as they went down 4-1 at Hampden against Queen's Park. Banjo believes the size of the Hampden pitch had a bearing on the outcome.
He said: “I think we are a better team than Queen's Park. But we went to Hampden and were more concerned about how we were going to deal with the pitch, rather than our game plan that we worked on leading into Saturday’s game. But in terms of achieving our objectives, whether that’s the play-offs or mid-table, we are capable of getting the job done.”
Banjo has quickly become a fans’ favourite with his good performances for the side. “I feel like the fans have been a really big boost to me,” he said. “It makes you go out there and want to play really well and stay maybe for the long run. It’s really uplifting knowing you have the support of the fans and the people who work for the club. Hopefully I can continue to make a good impression on them with the time I have here.”
With his contract due to expire at the end of the season, the Englishman has gave no indication that he wants to play his football anywhere other than Links Park in the near future. He added: “I’d love to stay, I have no reason to leave any time soon. If the manager offers me a new contract beyond the end of the season, I’ll sign and carry on. My main concern at the moment is Montrose, as long as we continue to put in good performances week in, week out and there is development happening at the club, I’d be more than happy to keep playing football – that’s where my focus lies."