Nathaniel Adamolekun yearns for Senior Reggae Boyz call-up

Nathaniel Adamolekun yearns for Senior Reggae Boyz call-up

Says inspired by sister's Reggae Girlz performance at last year's Fifa Women's World Cup Finals

Observer staff reporter

Sunday, August 23, 2020

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The joy of seeing his teenage sister Olufolasade Adamolekun and her Reggae Girlz teammates in action at last year's Fifa Women's World Cup Finals in France, sparked fresh optimism for Nathaniel Adamolekun regarding a senior Reggae Boyz call up.

Nathaniel, whose father Lanre is Nigerian and mother Michelle, Jamaican, first represented Jamaica at the Under-17 level during the Concacaf World Cup Qualifiers in 2015 and received recognition for his performance in the tournament, which paved the way for him to parade his skills for the Under-20 team in 2016.

Since then he has kept his head down and taken the necessary steps to improve his craft and grasped an opportunity to ply his trade in Europe where he showcased his fine dribbling abilities and power on the ball, as his true knack for scoring goals came to the fore.

Having drawn inspiration from his sister and her teammates, who proved that anything is possible if you work hard and believe, Nathaniel is hopeful that the long-awaited call to join the senior set-up will come, with the Theodore Whitmore-coached Reggae Boyz gearing up for their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.

“It was truly surreal to see the Reggae Girlz and Sade [Olufolasade] achieve the heights they did for women's football and the Caribbean in France. Their performance, the effort they displayed in every game and the achievement of making it to the World Cup cannot be understated.

“It is the aspiration of basically every player to play in the World Cup and they were able to accomplish that goal for our small and proud nation. I see their achievement and those of the track team as a representation of what Jamaica is capable of and true inspiration to not only young girls, but young sports aspirants across the globe,” he reasoned.

“So, of course, I still aspire to represent Jamaica at the senior level; it is always an honour to represent a country at the highest level and if I am given the opportunity to represent Jamaica again, I would be greatly appreciative and do my best to help raise them to the next level,” he told the Jamaica Observer from his base in Austin, Texas.

Should his wish be granted, the 21-year-old would possibly reunite with Shamar Nicholson and a few others, who were a part of that 2016 Under-20 Reggae Boyz squad who have since earned caps in the senior set-up.

Knowing very well that such hopes are certainly not unrealistic, the lethal forward, who was recently signed by USL Championship side Austin Bold FC, pointed out that he intends to build on the European experience and continue to improve his game to ensure he can be a valuable asset to the Reggae Boyz.

Nathaniel began his European career in Portugal with then Primeira Liga club CD Feirense in 2017 and spent the 2018-19 season on loan at FC Pedras Rubras.

From there, Adamolekun, whose 6' 3” frame makes him a threat in the air, played for FC Pinzgau Saalfelden in the Austrian Regionalliga West 2019-20 season, scoring eight goals in seven matches in the first half of the season before a league-wide suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to his European stints, young Nathaniel Adamolekun shun locally for youth club Lonestar SC before joining Orlando City SC's inaugural MLS academy in 2013 and making appearances for the MLS side's Under-16 and Under-18 squads. He was awarded a soccer scholarship from UNC-Chapel Hill and represented the Tar Heels in 2016.

“Playing in Europe has been an extremely priceless and enjoyable experience,” he said.

“The things I've learned there helped shape and mold me into the player I am today. The cultures and the level of players I had the opportunity to play with provided me with lessons and experiences that I will carry with me throughout my lifetime,” he noted.

That said, the Austin native shared his delight about returning home to assist Bold FC achieve the goals set for the season.

“I am an attack-minded, versatile and coachable player, who is continually looking for ways to elevate my game and development, so I believe this is a great chance for me to do so and I hope to be able to help the team achieve the play-off goal so that we may move forward to the next stage and hopefully win the championship,” he ended.

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