NEW signing David Ijaha has said that Argyle assistant manager Craig Brewster was been hugely influential in the 26-year-old midfielder signing his first professional contract.
David has had a perfect few days: on Monday, he became Derek Adams' 12th summer signing then, the following day, scored against Truro in Argyle’s 2-0 win on Tuesday. Speaking after the victory, David heaped the praise on Craig who, like the newest Pilgrim, has a history at East Sussex club Whitehawk.
“Craig has been massive,” said David. “He helped me all week when I was down here on trial. Craig has given me massive support; he has helped me all the way through. It has definitely helped having Craig here.
“Craig had watched me a few times last season and he said to me he tried to get me last season but it didn’t work that way. He knows a few of my ex-managers and he told me in summer to come down for a trial. So I came, got fit, worked hard and a contract came out of it so I was happy.”
David spent last season playing in the same division as Truro, as he played for Whitehawk FC. Playing in Sky Bet League 2 will be a two-tier step up for David, but he is determined to work hard and make sure that he uses the chance that has been put in front of him.
“It feels good,” David said on signing for Argyle. “Like I said, I am 26-years-old so I thought my chance had gone. It feels like I have got a second chance so I am going to grab it with both hands. As you saw, I got a goal, so I am going to try and add that to my game as well. I am here just to work as hard as possible and see where it takes me.
“I didn’t score many goals last season - that is one thing that I would like to add to my game. It’s always nice to get a goal, but the main thing is fitness. I want to get as fit as possible and see where it takes me.
“It’s a massive opportunity. I have come all the way from London. I think that is a blessing in disguise because I can’t go back to London and be distracted by anything. I will be down here for the whole season so I am just going to work as hard as possible and see where that takes me.
“Training with the boys, [I can see] they are much much sharper. I will get there in time. All I can do is work as hard as possible and in time I will get there. When fit I am a strong box-to-box midfielder that likes a tackle, I try and score goals and defend. I would say I am a bit of an all-rounder.”
David’s bid to get fit for the season is something he had struggled with whilst in the Conference, making it hard for him to get a professional club. After watching David play for Argyle against St Blazey though, Derek took up the opportunity to offer David a contract.
“It’s difficult when you are down at Conference level.” David said. “There are loads of factors [that make it hard to become professional]. You only train part-time so you are not as fit as you want to be. It’s just different.
“To be fair the manager doesn’t really give much away, so I wasn’t sure [if I would be offered a contract]. I had to go away and deal with some family stuff, but whilst I was away he gave me a call and said he wanted to give me a contract so I was delighted."
David is settling in well with the team, and is looking forward to their trip to the Netherlands – which should also further his fitness.
“All the boys here are cool,” said David. “Everyone has been nice to me and they have all been welcoming. We are going away on Sunday to Holland, so that’s going to be a chance to really get to know everyone so I am looking forward to it.