KAYODE ODEJAYI is no stranger to helping clubs make FA Cup history.
The Guiseley striker’s finest hour saw him grab the memorable match-winning strike which secured a Cup semi-final berth for old club Barnsley in March 2008 – for the first time since 1912.
The 36-year-old’s rather more modest aim this time around is to do his bit to help the Lions enter the record books by reaching the third round of the world’s most enduring domestic cup competition for the first time ever this season.
Having been part of a Guiseley side who historically progressed to round two last term, the aim is to go one better for ‘Odejayi and co’ – with the latest obstacle in the way being Cambridge United.
For the second year in succession, the Lions welcome League Two opponents – with the Nethermoor outfit drawing with Accrington at the same stage last season before beating the Lancastrians in a replay – famously triumphing on penalties.
Eyeing more noteworthy Cup feats, Odejayi – whose special moment arrived when he netted the only goal of the game for the Reds in their epic televised Cup quarter-final win over Chelsea at an ecstatic Oakwell ten-and-a-half years ago – said: “It has been a competition I have really enjoyed playing in and I just want to focus on helping Guiseley write some more history this year.
“We managed to get into the second round for the first time last year in the club’s history. Unfortunately, that is where the run ended, but it is still a fantastic achievement. It is great to be in the mix again this year.”
On what reaching the third round would mean, he added: “That would be amazing. We have got such a good, young squad who are striving to go on in their careers and do big things – and the FA Cup can help do that.
“Hopefully, there is still a story to come with our squad and if we can get to the third round, that would help.
“The Cup is a national competition and everyone is looking in and everyone loves the underdog story and focuses in on the smaller clubs.
“It brings them to the public attention and has happened long before my time and will do so long after I have given up playing.”
Oedjayi, who turns 37 in February, insists he has no plans to hang up his boots any time soon and says he is enjoying his football more than ever and eyeing a couple more seasons at least before thinking about retirement.
He added: “I started at Bristol (City) at 17 and am clocking seasons up now. But I still feel good and try and look after myself and hopefully there are a couple more seasons left.
“It is a blessing to play and to still be going at my age; it is a case of taking each season as it comes. A lot of people who I played with or came up with are getting into coaching and management and that shows you how old you are.
“I just go into every training session and game with a smile on my face to try and help out the team as much as I can and also pass on a bit of experience and advice to the youngsters.
“And to try and help them along the way.”