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Semi Ajayi fronts Saturday's Albion News

Albion News Millwall programme

Semi Ajayi's perseverance and determination are detailed in this weekend's latest edition of Albion News.

After enjoying a substantial rise from Charlton's academy to Arsenal's star-studded complex at the age of 19, senior minutes in the Football League were at a premium for the Nigerian during the early stages of his career.

Loan moves followed and a couple of stints lower down the league pyramid caught the eye of then-Rotherham boss Paul Warne - earning Semi his first consistent opportunity in the Championship.

From there, the Super Eagles international took off on an upward trajectory, helping the Millers return to England's second tier at Wembley via the Play-Off Final in May 2018 before enjoying a full campaign of Championship football in South Yorkshire. 

There was, as the 29-year-old described, "time to make up for" - but it was a chance worth waiting for when Slaven Bilić recruited Ajayi to join the Baggies' promotion push during the 2019/20 season.

The centre-half lists the Croatian, as well as serial title-winner Arsene Wenger, as two of the biggest influences on his progress, and opens up on what's been a frustrating campaign for him in B71. 

Albion's towering defender says he'd never missed a game through injury throughout his whole journey before this campaign, which has made Ajayi's battle to return to fitness even more difficult to accept.

However, after returning to the fold prior to the March international break and featuring for Nigeria during their AFCON qualifies, Semi believes it's "clear" what he must do under boss Carlos Corberán, as he targets a regular starting berth going into the last stage of the season. 

Ajayi's 'Memorable Moments' are refined but special, with the defender's long-awaited top-flight debut v Leicester City, equalising goal against Liverpool at Anfield for the Baggies in 2020, and international debut for the Super Eagles all featuring in his standout footballing accomplishments.

Despite coming back from two goals down to level their last match 2-2 at half-time, Albion Women were edged out by Black Country rivals Wolves in their recent outing - which features in Saturday's copy. 

In addition, there was success for the Baggies' U21s at the beginning of the week with the best images from Monday night's 7-6 penalty shootout win - along with the thoughts of PDP boss Richard Beale - featuring after overcoming Redditch United to reach the last four of the Birmingham Senior Cup.

Credit | GarethEvansphoto

There’s plenty for Albion supporters to get into, and programmes will be available at all the usual stalls in and around The Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon. They can also be purchased from the Stadium Megastore, which is located outside the East Stand.

Alternatively, you can buy a copy online, or have each edition of the 2022/23 season delivered to your door for matchday by purchasing a subscription here.

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