Record-setting Shaw recalls switch to goalscoring phenom
LONDON, United Kingdom (CMC) — Ace Jamaica Reggae Girlz striker Khadija “Bunny” Shaw said she was a reluctant convert to the centre forward position that she has now made her own for club and country.
The 26-year-old, who plays professionally in England for Manchester City Women, has been in ripping form, already netting nine goals in the Women’s Super League, including a hat-tricks against Tottenham and Everton in two of the last three matches.
Shaw revealed on the latest edition of the Our Manchester City podcast that she grew up as an attacking midfielder and had reservations about moving to the forward position when she was asked to do so while playing in the United States college system.
During her time at the University of Tennessee, she was converted by her Coach Brian Pensky, and the decision paid back richly when she scored 27 goals in 35 appearances for the Southeastern Conference (SEC) side.
“From freshman to junior, I was a midfielder,” she said. “But as I was going into my senior year, the player that was playing striker, she got a professional contract, so we didn’t have a striker.
“In the summer of my senior year, my coach was like ‘Okay, we think you need to play closer to the goal’, and I said, ‘attacking midfielder, it feels I’m already there’. And he said, ‘no, forward’.”
Shaw added: “I thought, ‘I’ve never played there before, I don’t think I’m the one for the job’. And then he told me not to worry about it and that we’d work on it.
“Every day before training and after training, we’d do finishing, finishing, finishing. In my sleep, I would think about finishing. That’s how much we would work on it.”
After college, Shaw moved to France with Bordeaux in June 2019 on a two-year contract and scored 10 times in 15 appearances in her first season at the club before the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) put a stop to the 2019-20 season.
She scored 24 times in 21 appearances in all competitions the following year in France before joining Man City on a three-year deal in June 2021.
Shaw netted 19 goals in her debut season at City and exceeded all expectations when she scored 31 goals in 30 matches in the 2022-23 season before signing a new deal to keep her at the club until 2026.
She was unsurprisingly named City Women’s Player-of-the-Year after Concacaf bestowed a similar award for her goalscoring exploits and her inspirational acts on and off the pitch for Jamaica.