Josh Oyinsan and Paul Pogba
By Matt Badcock
What has Cambridge City top scorer Josh Oyinsan got in common with Manchester United star Paul Pogba?
Not only are they both having their best campaign in front of goal – the Lilywhites’ hitman is the French World Cup winner’s body double!
When adidas have to shoot the latest boot ad, 6ft 5ins striker Oyinsan is the man they call.
“I do it maybe two or three times a month for the adidas stuff – new boots, clothing – that includes Pogba,” the 24-year-old told The NLP. “It takes a couple of days to shoot an advert, and as you can imagine, they can’t afford to keep Pogba the whole time so I’m a cheap alternative!
“But I always get to meet him. He’s cool, really nice, and always asks how I’m getting on with football – he’s great to be around. I try not to talk about football too much because he gets bombarded with that all the time. But it’s great.
“It’s often shot in the cold with me just wearing a t-shirt so it’s not that glamorous. I’m grateful for the job but I’ve still got my own dreams to play higher.”
Oyinsan is showing his talent in a City shirt with 17 goals in 25 games for the Southern League Division One Central outfit.
He admits he didn’t know how it would pan out when he found himself without a club on the opening day of the season before boss Robbie Nightingale offered a chance he’s snapped up.
“I was at Royston last season and it didn’t quite turn out how I wanted it so I ended up at Ashford United last season,” Oyinsan said. “I scored a few goals but for some reason fell out of favour in pre-season and then the first game of the season I was without a club.
“I never thought I’d ever say it but I had to ask myself, ‘What do I do now? Is it time to reassess it?’ I’ve got a girlfriend and I want to progress with my life. I don’t want to be a 29-year-old chasing a deal, I want to be realistic.
“I knew Robbie from when I was at Royston. It was different with him, he settled me down. I started the first two games, went back to the bench for three or four, but got settled and I’ve kicked on from there. I started thriving and believing in myself.
“At that time when he signed me, Robbie was pretty much the only manager willing to give me a go,” he said. “I went to another club and Cambridge but he gave me that feeling that I wanted to be there. He told me, ‘I know what you can do’. It’s like an arm around a shoulder and it made me relax.
“It’s one of my biggest things – to show boys who are in and out of clubs not to give up. That’s one of my main goals, to show it is possible.
“A lot of players in Non-League don’t have the opportunity of going through the academies. There are some who have had that academy experience and make the jump, but I’m talking about the boys who just have a dream.
“It’s hard when you’re in that position and it’s hard to believe it can happen. But that’s something I’m really eager to prove to people by believing and working hard.”
Oyinsan has also equalled Neil Harris’ club record of three hat-tricks in a season.
While he would love to get a fourth – and hit the 20-goal mark – he’s concentrating on helping the team finish the season as strongly as possible.
“We’ve had a lot of injuries so it’s been hard at times,” he said. “But we’ve got good replacements and we’ve got a chemistry going now and a formula that helps us win games, which I’m happy to be a part of. Play-offs are still mathematically possible.
“We’ll just try everything we can to get it.”
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