Norwich City loanee Timi Odusina urges Premier League academy players to seek senior experience in the National League following Hartlepool United move

Timi Odusina of Hartlepool United battles for possession with Ebbsfleet United's Gozie Ugwu during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Ebbsfleet United at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th March 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)Timi Odusina of Hartlepool United battles for possession with Ebbsfleet United's Gozie Ugwu during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Ebbsfleet United at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th March 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Timi Odusina of Hartlepool United battles for possession with Ebbsfleet United's Gozie Ugwu during the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Ebbsfleet United at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th March 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News) | Other 3rd Party
Timi Odusina has urged more Premier League academy players to seek senior football experience in the National League.

The 20-year-old defender joined Hartlepool United on loan from Norwich City back in January, starting the last seven matches since his arrival.

Last season, Odusina spent time on loan at AFC Fylde under current Pools boss Dave Challinor in what was his first taste of senior football.

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Some under-23 and academy players may be reluctant to make the temporary move into non-league football and instead take the ‘easy option’ of remaining at their parent club to play ‘friendlies every week’.

And after stepping back into Premier League 2 matches for the opening half of the season, Odusina feels he’s reaping the rewards of being back in the National League with Pools.

“When I played my first professional game, I realised how different it is to 23s,” he said.

“It’s so competitive and you’re fighting for something whereas 23s is effectively just friendlies every week.

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“I would encourage young players to do it if they can because you need to start your career somewhere and 23s, I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s false but it’s a lot different to men’s football and I think that’s a step a lot of lads could take whether it’s on loan or permanently.

“You have to get really stuck in here otherwise they’ll give it to you – I’m quite an aggressive player so I think it suits me. I already feel like I’ve improved massively since I’ve been here so you definitely get the rewards too.”