New Tooting and Mitcham United signing Andrew Sesay (left) alongside joint-manager Cornelius Nwadialor. Photo: Tooting and Mitcham United FC

There have been new horizons in store this summer for Andrew Sesay, as the attacking performer links up with Tooting and Mitcham United for the upcoming Isthmian South Central campaign. After a season punctured by pandemic and injury alike, the 24-year-old wants to hit the ground running this time around, and if he does, the new Terrors addition might take some catching.

While reveling in branching out from his more typical wide role, the former Whyteleafe man has been further boosted by how he has been received in general at Imperial Fields. So, with 2021/22 just around the corner, there’s no better time to learn some more about this new name in Ashley Bosah and Cornelius Nwadialor’s side. Luckily enough, the man himself is here to help out…

 

Firstly Andrew, what impressed you about Tooting and Mitcham? What swung it over other options you perhaps had for this season?

Yeah, there were a couple of clubs that wanted me to sign with them; I was 50-50 with it. When I heard Tooting and Mitcham wanted me to come, I instantly made up my mind. It’s a great club and I feel it’s the right one for me to develop as a player. So far, I’m enjoying it here, because the coaches, the players and the fans made me feel welcome. I can’t wait for the season to start.

What about last season, how much did you get to play? Were you at Whyteleafe and then Three Bridges?

I was at Whyteleafe, pre-season was going well, and I ended up dislocating my shoulder in a pre-season friendly against Northwood, so that made me miss the start of the season. When I recovered from that, I decided to go to Three Bridges. I played a couple of games with them, then got injured again, in our cup match against Worthing. Then obviously because of COVID, the season ended, so with that and injuries, it just messed up the season for me.

Do you see yourself as a winger or a striker?

I’ve been playing as a winger my whole career. Recently, with Whyteleafe, and now with Tooting, it’s switched to playing up top. I’m enjoying it and I feel like it suits me more as a player.

How far is the club from where you’re currently based?

I’m from east London, so it takes me about an hour to get there. I’ve done longer journeys at previous clubs, so it’s alright really.

Whereabouts in east London is home and which team did you grow up supporting?

I was raised in a borough called Newham, not far from West Ham, but I’ve always supported Arsenal.

In terms of heritage, is Sesay an African name?

Sesay’s a Sierra Leonean name; both of my parents are from Sierra Leone. I’ve never been there but my dad grew up there. My mum grew up in England but her family were all raised in Sierra Leone. I’m close to my culture in a way. I haven’t been there but hopefully I can have a little visit and see how it is.

Which spell in your football up to now would you say has been the most enjoyable?

I’d say I enjoyed my time at Tonbridge, even though it was short. Started with the 23s and ended up getting game time with the first team, but decided to leave to Greenwich Borough to get more games. I enjoyed it at Greenwich Borough, too. Out of all the clubs, I’d say Whyteleafe I enjoyed most. Great coach, Harry Hudson, I learned a lot from him, and a lot of good players. It was amazing there, so I’d say Whyteleafe.

What kind of approach from a manager do you feel gets the best from you? Has there been a manager who has seemed to understand that best so far?

A manager that’s honest with me. If I’m slacking in training or not performing in matches, just a manager that tells me ‘Sesay, you’re not performing how you should be, you need to fix up’. I feel like that will help get my head straight and want to do better. Even though my time with Harry Hudson was short, I feel like he was the manager who understood me as a player.

Whether it’s someone like Ryan Gondoh at Whyteleafe, have there been any teammates you’ve particularly felt a good understanding with on the pitch?

You mention Ryan Gondoh and I had a good connection with him. When I was at Three Bridges, there was a striker called Andre McCollin; he was another great player, I enjoyed playing with him.

Are you on Twitter or is it something you’ve decided to swerve?

Yeah, I’m on Twitter. It’s not really out there, but I am on it and I’m trying to get into that. It’s @SES1UP.

What else do you enjoy or are you involved with away from playing, in terms of work and other interests?

Football’s my life really, that’s the only thing I do. I go to the gym, try and keep healthy and everything, but football’s my life.

Have you ever been team DJ for any of the clubs you’ve played for?

No, I just leave that to other players! I don’t mind listening to other people’s music, so I just keep mine to myself.

Have you ever had to sing, though, for initiation when you’ve joined a team?

To be fair, I haven’t; at Tooting, I know it’s coming! I know my song already but I’m gonna keep that a secret…

Looking ahead, you said football’s your life, so is it a real burning ambition to climb the leagues and push to really ‘make it’?

Yeah, I wanna push as far as I can, whether it’s playing pro, playing in the League, wherever. I feel like I’m capable of doing it, and with Tooting and Mitcham, and the managers and players I’ve got behind me, I feel like this could be the time where I actually progress. Hopefully…

Finally, what’s your message to anyone coming down to watch you this season? What do you hope to give the fans?

Just goals really. As a striker, obviously the main thing is to get goals, and hopefully win the league, and go far in the FA Cup.

Interview by @chris_brookes

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