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Temiloluwa Odetunde: My ultimate ambition is to play for Liverpool

Young and enterprising midfielder, Temiloluwa Odetunde, is hopeful of donning the famous Liverpool jersey and file out to play at Anfield Stadium. The AS Roma…

Young and enterprising midfielder, Temiloluwa Odetunde, is hopeful of donning the famous Liverpool jersey and file out to play at Anfield Stadium. The AS Roma Academy Abuja player while speaking to Trust Sports said his father who was once a footballer is playing a huge role for him to succeed as a footballer. The 16-year old student of Word of Faith Group of Schools Abuja also spoke on how he is combining education with football.

Who is Temi and how long have you been playing football?

I am the last born of my family though we are just two boys. I hail from Ogun State. I am 16 years old and I’m currently attending Word of Faith Group of Schools Abuja. I am in SS3. I have been playing football for about 10 years now. I started playing football when I was six years old with friends anywhere we see football to play.

Where did you get the inspiration to play football?

My father played football. I will say that was where I derived the inspiration to play football. I asked him for permission to play football and he gladly granted my request and that was how I started playing football so early. So, my elder brother and I have taken after our dad who was a good football player. However, my elder brother has taken a break from the game because he is in university. He was with me in AS Roma Football Academy.

So how much support do you get from your father since you joined the academy?

Yes, he has and always wanted me to be a professional footballer. He is one of my biggest supporters. In fact, I am grateful to God for blessing me with such a lovely dad. He wants me to be a successful footballer. You know he played football so naturally he will want to see me succeed. And he is doing his best to encourage me.

What’s your favourite position on the field?

I’m a midfielder and I play for AS Roma Academy at the Moshood Abiola national stadium. We are coached by John Obuh but I’m playing for the U-16 side. 

How long have you been with AS Roma academy and what have you learnt so far?

I’ve been with the academy for three and a half years and I’ve learnt so many things from the academy. My ball control has improved remarkably. Although I am still learning, I’ve understood my positioning on the pitch. And of course, I aim to get better every day. We learn a lot of things about football in the academy. It is not possible to be there for a year without making any progress.

What challenges have you faced since you started playing football?

I don’t really have a major challenge because I get all the necessary support from my father but my endurance is a big challenge I’ve faced but my coach is helping me to improve on it. He has made me understand that without perseverance, it will be difficult to achieve the desired results. It is not easy but I am doing my best to improve in this area.

You earlier said that you are in school. How do you combine education with football?

My school ends by 4pm on some days so immediately after school, I go straight to the stadium to train. After training, I go home and create time to do my assignments and study my books as well. I have my routine and I keep to it religiously.

Very soon, you will be done with secondary school education, do you have any plans to further your education or will you concentrate on football?

I leave all that in God’s hands. Yes, I have the plans but then I don’t know what God has in store for me. I will take things as they come. But I am focused on playing football but any plan God has for me, I’ll follow

What’s your favourite club?

My favourite club is Liverpool and I plan to play for Liverpool because they give opportunities to young players. It’s a club I love to play for. I want to wear the jersey one day and file out at the Anfield Stadium. This is not to undermine AS Roma in any way. For now, I am with AS Roma but in future, I hope to play for Liverpool, and that is my ultimate ambition.

And who is your favourite player?

I have two favourite players. They are Dominik Szoboszlai and Thiago Alcantara. I always find time to watch them play because I am learning from them.

What made them your favourite players?

I like the way they play football and I will continue to learn from them. They are very intelligent on the ball and I want to model my game around them. They’re like my role models

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

By the grace of God, I see myself playing for a top professional club, hopefully Liverpool that I love and support.  I am trusting God for this to happen early in my career.

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