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Saidou Khan: “It’s time to show everyone what I can do.”

New Town signing on how his non-league journey has made him hungry for success in League Two…

21 July 2022

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Recent Swindon Town recruit, Saidou Khan, admits his eight years spent in the lower echelons of English football has left him craving success at The County Ground.

The 26-year-old completed his move to SN1 from National League side Chesterfield last week, signing a two-year deal with the club, but he’s endured an unusual footballing journey and had to be patient to finally earn his dream move to an EFL club.

The combative midfielder has spent the majority of his career in non-league football before turning heads for The Spireites last term, where his 37 league appearances and six goals propelled the club into the play-offs.

Since 2015, he’s appeared for the likes of Dulwich Hamlet, Kingstonian, Chipstead, Tooting & Mitcham, Carshalton and Maidstone, and had a loan spell at Dagenham & Redbridge – a CV often only really seen in players six or seven years his junior before they’re snapped up by a big club.

But despite several contract offers on the table, Khan opted to join Swindon with the managers philosophy and talented young squad the main reasoning behind his decision.

With an unrivalled determination to succeed in the game and some personal challenges at a young age, the Gambian admits he’s ready to prove to everyone he’s worthy of a regular starting berth in Scott Lindsey’s side.

“My football journey certainly hasn’t been an easy one. Playing Saturday and Sunday league, having various trials and then moving into non-league was hard. There were times I had to gather my thoughts and ask myself whether all the effort was really worth it, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come.

“Eight years of moving sideways across leagues takes it’s toll, but I’m so pleased to have joined Swindon Town and I’m ready to give it everything I have.

“Finally I’m able to look back at my football career and say all the hardship was worth it. I no longer feel I’m chasing the dream – I’m actually living it.”

With his move to SN1 secured, Khan isn’t resting on his laurels and plans to earn the trust of his manager to become a regular first-teamer and help drive the club towards promotion, and the only way he believes he can do that is to score and create goals week in week out.

“I managed to notch a fair few goals last season from Chesterfield and I set myself a high target each season, but that target seems more important than ever for the coming season.

“The way the game is played now, midfielders are expected to score and assist their team mates, contributing in every game, and I want to do just that.

“I’ve never been more committed to making a success of myself. We have a strong midfield here with some great players, so I need to work hard and earn my place, and once I get it, I want to hold onto it.

“All I know is that when I’m given my chance, I’m going to grasp it with both hands and give it everything I have. This club is going places and I want to be an integral part of that.”

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