It’s Forest Gate to first Englishman to play in Argentina for footballer Olaoye
PUBLISHED: 14:00 24 April 2020
From playing for Barking and Newham to becoming the first Englishman to play in Argentina, David Olaoye has not taken your standard trip into professional football.
The 23-year-old, who grew up in Forest Gate, is now jet-setting the world while playing his beloved sport – playing in Greece, Slovenia, Argentina, and Norway since rising up the ranks.
Although he insists becoming the first English player to play in Argentina is his bigger achievement to date, having featured for El Porvenir.
“Although I would like to eventually achieve much more things in my career, that at the moment is the main achievement of my career, which I value very much because it takes a lot for someone who doesn’t know the language to go out of their comfort zone and make that journey,” said Olaoye.
“You have to be so mentally prepared and ready for whatever obstacles come your way and I was very prepared in every way.
“I loved the football there and how I was treated there by everyone was very welcoming and gave me confidence to do what I do best.”
Rewind back to when it all started at little non-league outfits like Newham, Barking and Ware, which Olaoye used as a stepping stone into Greek football with AO Tympakiou, adding: “I just went there to prepare for me going abroad because I knew I’m going to go to Greece, so I had to prepare myself for actually taking that next step.
“I knew I was always ready to take the next step, but it was all about preparation.”
He played alongside twin brother Daniel in Greece before they headed separate ways.
David headed off to Slovenia for his next venture with NK Bravo, although he only spent six months at the club with four of those on the sidelines.
“There was interest through an agent I was speaking to and he said the club was very keen on me so I thought it was time for a new journey and something fresh,” he added. “It was different, but I liked it, we had some good players, some of the under-21s played for Slovenia, so it was very good quality in training and the club was well run.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t get going because I picked up an injury, so that was very disappointing as I knew I would do well once we started the league.
“I didn’t get to that stage, but it was a good experience for the short period I was there.
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“The weather was too cold, though,” he joked.
It was then that he made the move across to South America, signing a two-year-deal with El Porvenir, and he made his debut on November 20, 2017 against Berazategui.
“There was a lot of technique training, 80 per cent of the time with the ball, and I played with a lot of high-level players who have been in top leagues before, so I learnt a lot,” he added.
“Also you have to fight a lot because the Argentines take it very seriously, it’s like a religion to the fans and players, so you have to put 110 per cent all the time in everything you do.
“I really loved it there and I was allowed to play freely because I was given the confidence to do that, which is very important, I like to express myself on the pitch.”
Olaoye then left the club in June 2018 and had a few trials before joining Norwegian outfit Nybergsund last year.
“I believe Norway is a good place to develop players for them to get to where they want to eventually be,” he said.
“It’s going to be my second season here and I’m enjoying it. Hopefully staying injury-free this year and I will be able to have a good season and score lots of goals , that’s my main goal.”
Despite being such a young age Olaoye has seen plenty of the world through his footballing career and insists it has opened his eyes to different things.
“It’s a great way to find different styles of play and actually see the level out there, because everyone is fighting hard to play and to find a club,” he said.
“Moving around has actually opened my eyes about everything, even things like culture, language and food.
“One massive positive also is that I’ve learnt Spanish during my time in Argentina, so that’s been great for me.”
Twin brother Daniel has also explored the world, playing football in Germany and Greek after growing up in Newham.
See next week’s Recorder for a piece on his footballing adventure.
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