Ola Adeyemo believes the hard work has paid off as he made his first appearance on a football pitch in more than a year.
Adeyemo had been sidelined with an Achilles injury prior to joining Cove Rangers last month and had been doing extra sessions with manager Paul Hartley to get up to speed.
After four games sat on the bench, Adeyemo was given the final half an hour in the 4-1 win over Albion Rovers on Saturday, setting up Jamie Masson’s goal and impressing in his cameo on the right flank.
It was a big moment for Adeyemo personally after coming back from injury and putting in the hard yards to get back to action.
He said: “It was my first football in over a year so it felt good to be back out on the pitch. For me personally, it was a big moment.
“Not a lot of people know I had a bad injury and it was tough for me to get back. I had to do a lot of work to get back to the level I’m at and I’m just pleased to get on the pitch.
“I’d been sitting on the bench for the last four games just watching and observing. To finally come on and contribute feels good.”
“I have done a lot of finishing and sharpness stuff which is exactly what I need – extra sessions to get me up to speed.
“It’s definitely helped me. Without that I would have been a couple of steps back. The players are unbelievably sharp and it’s a good level, so I needed all of those sessions.”
Adeyemo joined Cove last month having been out of the game since leaving League of Ireland side Wexford in 2020. He had previous stints in Scotland with Dundee United and East Fife.
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He was given a short-term deal and challenged by Hartley to prove he deserved a longer contract at the Balmoral Stadium.
The 26-year-old was pleased with his impact off the bench against Rovers, which earned Cove a place in the last eight of the SPFL Trust Trophy.
Adeyemo added: “I’m happy because when I came on it was 0-0 and we ended up winning 4-1. We scored a few goals and the football in the second half was much better.
“It’s about getting minutes, enjoying football and contributing to the team.
“The mood around the place is good right now. It’s a good place to be.”