“I am made up and can’t wait, and I can’t believe I have got another chance.”
That was the reaction of former Buckingham Town striker Leon Lobjoit after he put pen to paper on a two-year contract with the Cobblers.
A prolific goalscorer in the United Counties League Division One with the Robins, Lobjoit has been handed a second chance at making it in the professional game at the age of 22, and he intends on grabbing it with both hands.
Lobjoit, who has scored an amazing 62 goals for Buckingham this season, was previously registered with both Milton Keynes Dons and Coventry City as a teenager, and also had a trial spell at Queens Park Rangers.
The player himself admits he wasn’t ready for the step up to becoming a professional footballer at that time, but he says he is now all grown up and ready to make the most of the opportunity handed him by Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh.
“I am made up and can’t wait, and I can’t believe I have got another chance,” said Lobjoit.
The talent has been there, but mentally in my head I don’t think I was ready to play football. But now I am ready. I have grown up, I am mature, I am ready for itLeon Lobjoit
“Even scoring all of those goals (for Buckingham), I didn’t think it would be recognised, but obviously I have been, and it is just great to be back in this environment again.
“Hopefully I will smash it and move on and do some good things.”
The player has been on trial at Sixfields for the past two weeks, and scored in the reserve team’s 3-0 win over Peterborough United second string last week.
Lobjoit has impressed Edinburgh and the rest of the Town coaching staff, and it clear he has the desire to make it in the full-time game.
So what was the problem first time round at Stadium MK and the Ricoh Arena?
“I think it was down to maturity, and I wasn’t ready to have that step up,” says Lobjoit.
“The talent has been there, but mentally in my head I don’t think I was ready to play football. But now I am ready.
“I have grown up, I am mature, I am ready for it.”
Having been a scholar at two high profile clubs, and then a trialist at a club as respected as QPR, it is maybe a surprise to see Lobjoit dropping as low as UCL Division One, where he came up against the likes of Long Buckby, Bugbrooke St Michael’s, Raunds Town and Daventry Town.
But the player insists the move was all about him enjoying his football again, and scoring some goals.
“I have just been having fun,” said Lobjoit. “Going down to that level, not being big headed or boastful, that isn’t me and shouldn’t have been me.
“But I had to make that step to show where I am at, to show people that I am up there and I just needed to be recognised, just needed to be given another chance and I will take it.
“I said to myself ‘I am going to go there’, and people might judge me for that. But what does it matter what other people think, as long as I get where I want to get.”
Lobjoit now has that second chance, and he will be driven by the experiences he has gone through in the past couple of years, and by the fact he doesn’t want to return to UCL football any time soon.
“It makes you realise so much, especially dropping so low and people telling you how talented you are,” he said.
“Looking at it, you probably are a cut above everybody else, but it makes you realise that if you get back up there, then don’t take it for granted.
“You have to take the opportunity and smash it, go and get it.”
Edinburgh and every single Cobblers fan will be hoping Lobjoit does exactly that, next season, and for many seasons beyond.