EFE SODJE believes he has rediscovered the enjoyment of football with Town this season.

The 31-year-old centre-back was frustrated last summer because things had gone sour working for Dario Gradi at Crewe.

A call from Peter Jackson offered nothing more than Third Division Football for a man on a Division I contract and not long back from playing in a World Cup.

A few minutes on the phone with Jackson convinced him it was the right move, however.

And Sodje is delighted he brought his boots and bandanas across to West Yorkshire, where he is now proudly leading the McAlpine team until the end of the season having been voted the Umbro Isotonic Third Division Player of the Month for March.

"It has been a re-start for me, Jacko and Taff have been unbelievable and it's great to come into the club every day," said Sodje, who still lives near Crewe.

"I enjoyed my time at Macclesfield, which was fantastic, and obviously playing for Nigeria and in the World Cup, but this has been a tremendous season.

"I don't think people really believed us at the start of the season when we were talking about having a go for promotion, but they are believing it now.

"I never looked at it as a drop from Division I to Division III.

"I was annoyed, for sure, about how things turned out at Crewe, but having spoken to Jacko I always thought that being in Division III was going to be a one season thing.

"It never entered my head I'd be playing in the Third Division for this season and next, and if we keep on playing like we are then I'm going to be right."

What has made the campaign even more special for the pacy defender has been becoming team captain - an honour he will keep as Town challenge for promotion.

He has inherited the job from club captain Rob Edwards and stand-in Andy Booth, who have both suffered spells out injured.

Jackson believes Sodje has responded superbly to the responsibility, helping Town to an enviably tight defensive record.

And the former Stevenage, Macclesfield, Luton, and Crewe star said:

"It's really nice of the gaffer and Taff to give me the armband and it's a great honour at a club with the tradition and history of this one.

"While I'm leading out the team, though, I still don't take everything upon myself without asking Robbie or Andy first.

"To me, they are my captains and I respect them as that - but it is a big thrill to lead out the team and know you've got the job.

"I have enjoyed it, just like I've enjoyed the season. I think coming here has told me that I can still enjoy playing football, which is something I was starting to doubt before."

So does he think Town can see themselves through the run-in with enough points to go up?

"Fingers crossed," he answered.

"We are fighting for an automatic place and we are not even thinking about the pressure to pick up points.

"If the players keep on playing like we have been doing - like in the Swansea game, for instance, then we will be okay.

"Defensively we have a good record, which is a credit to the hard work and spirit of all the team, and we know we have the ability to do it."

Sodje's headgear still creates a lot of comment among fans up and down the country, so what is the story of the bandana?

"When I came back from Nigeria in 1995, my mum asked me to wear a bandana and I've been doing it ever since," he explained.

"Don't ask me why she wanted me to wear a bandana, but I've been doing it since then.

"The Against All Odds logo is a reminder to all those people who kept writing me off throughout my career.

"At Stevenage they were always questioning whether I could step up to Division III and, when I was at Macclesfield, they questioned if I could go any higher.

"The only division I haven't played in in this country is the Premier League, but I have played in a World Cup and it doesn't get any bigger than that."

And something you didn't know.

Despite being born in Greenwich, Sodje has been a lifelong Liverpool fan.

The reason - Alan Hansen is his all-time football hero.

"I have met him three times, which has been great," he said.