Sports

Adamolekun savours World Cup experience despite big losses

BY SHERDON COWAN
Observer staff reporter
cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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GRENOBLE, France — Olufolasade Adamolekun made it very clear how much playing at the Fifa Women's World Cup means to her, as she soaks up the atmosphere here on the global stage.

At 18 years old, Adamolekun's excitement can be excused, as for any player, young or old, the World Cup is the grandest stage to showcase one's talent, especially in a budding career.

Playing against top-ranked teams such as Brazil, Australia and Italy in Group C of the Reggae Girlz debut campaign here has definitely laid the platform for Adamolekun to shine.

“You always want to play the best in the world to test yourself so it is definitely interesting because I grew up watching these teams and watching their players play, so to actually be on the field with them playing against them is a great experience.

“Off the field I idolise them; they are great players. But once I am on the field the names are just names; I am focused on doing what I need to do to beat you, or win the ball from you no matter who you are,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

But while basking in the opportunity to rub shoulders and by extension sharing a pitch with some of the best players from around the world, Adamolekun is also taking notes to improve her craft.

The Reggae Girlz attacking midfielder, who was born in Austin, Texas, to a Nigerian father Lanre and Jamaican mother Michelle Williams, is hoping to utilise her year of experience when she rejoins teammates in the Under-20 set-up. Adamolekun has also represented Jamaica at the Under-17 level, scoring four goals in three appearances, while so far having earned six caps and three goals for the Under-20 team. Her older brother Nathaniel played for Jamaica as well.

“It is definitely exciting coming from Under-17 and Under-20 and now senior level [and] seeing different girls at each level and seeing different styles. So being here with these girls and making history is pretty amazing.

“When I got called to camp after the team qualified, we were very excited, so it's definitely a great experience with them... They play in different parts of the world, so for all of them to come together, I am learning different things, gathering different information to improve my craft, and learning different styles — so it's definitely amazing,” Adamolekun said with a broad smile.

“Going through the different ranks is very interesting, because I get to play with a bunch of girls and I get to play more extra games from games back home. So its definitely a great experience and hopefully Jody (Brown) and I can bring what we learned here to that to help the U-20 team through qualifiers as well,” the Fleming Island High School alumna added.

Despite already having three senior caps under her belt prior to the World Cup, nothing could match representing her country on the world stage, as she played all ninety-plus minutes in the Reggae Girlz's creditable display against Italy, who were 5-0 winners.

And with the defeat came a number of lessons for Adamolekun, who was installed in the wide midfield position by Head Coach Hue Menzies.

“Starting in the game was crazy. My friends and family back home were watching [as] I got a bunch of texts and videos of me on the TV screen — so it was very fun.

“But I felt like I could have done more. We only had two shots on target that entire game so I felt like I could have created opportunities for myself and for my team; so those are stuff for me to improve on and bring to the next game,” the University of Southern California student reasoned.

“I think we did improve on certain things from the first game (against Brazil) but not everything. There are still things we need to fix, and I feel like during this training and the session tomorrow (today) we will fix the last few things and hopefully bring a win and get those three points from Australia,” she ended.


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