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Yet more to come from top Town marksman Fejiri Okenabirhie

By Lewis Cox | Shrewsbury Town FC | Published: | Last Updated:

Fejiri Okenabirhie walked away from his first Shrewsbury Town awards evening clutching two trophies but was strong in his message.

Town striker Fejiri Okenabirhie collecting one of his end of season awards Pic: Malcolm Couzens

There is much more to come.

The 23-year-old made light work of his step up from the National League last season and has the top scorer and young player of the year gongs to show for it.

The 16-goal marksman, who netted his final goal at Coventry on the penultimate day of the season to confirm Town’s League One safety, was John Askey’s first signing last summer.

Okenabirhie’s exploits caught the eye as Shrewsbury fended off interest from Sunderland who lodged a six-figure bid for his services on January 31.

But the striker’s haul is even more impressive as – despite what 49 appearances in all competitions may suggest – he was used sparingly at times.

Indeed the Londoner, who is of Nigerian heritage, did not start a league game until mid-October. By which point it was almost too late for Askey.

The former Dagenham man scored five more goals than any Salop rival and was named young player of the year as voted for by his team-mates and Town staff.

Okenabirhie started 23 league games, just half, a crazy statistic given his prolific nature.

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And it’s likely to be in that department that the frontman wants better.

“One hundred per cent there’s a lot more to come. I just want to get better and develop and do more,” said Okenabirhie.

“I want to play more and score more. I’ll try to go again and work hard to keep doing what I’m doing.

“It is what I aim for when I signed, I wanted to show what I can do.

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“As a striker it’s to score goals and help the team. I’m definitely pleased.

“To be voted by your team-mates in football is the best recognition you can get.

“I’m really grateful for them, without them I wouldn’t be able to score or do what I do. It’s all down to them helping me.”

The former Arsenal schoolboy has a quiet demeanour about him and carries himself in a humble way.

But this season will have fuelled the flame of ambition in the striker to push his career on further.

He played the final three League One games of his breakthrough season in 2013/14 at Stevenage but, this time, he has been the main man.

And Okenabirhie, who quickly adopted a chant with fans rhyming his name with Xherdan Shaqiri, is ready.

“Of course (I want to stick around). I’m under contract here so until someone tells me otherwise I’m here as a Shrewsbury player,” he said.

“I’ve enjoyed my season here, the fans have been great with me, next season I’ll try to get my head down, work hard and show what I can do again.

“Hopefully it can lead to us being in a better position in the table as well and it can be a good season for everyone.”

Lewis Cox

By Lewis Cox
Multi-Media Sports Journalist - @lewiscox_star

Sports reporter with the Express & Star and Shropshire Star. Covering Shrewsbury Town and with a keen eye for non-league and grassroots.

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