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Interview: Jordan Adebayo-Smith

12 September 2018

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In recent weeks, academy attacker Jordan Adebayo-Smith has become more and more involved in Danny Cowley’s Lincoln City first team. The 17-year-old has already featured on the bench for the Imps in their previous Carabao Cup and Checkatrade Trophy matches against Blackburn Rovers and Mansfield Town.

Adebayo-Smith arrived at Sincil Bank this summer after a successful trial with the club. The talented youngster, who was born in California and is eligible to represent Nigeria, USA and England at international level, had previously had trials with Cambridge United and Premier League outfit Watford.

Speaking about his time with the club, Adebayo-Smith has already set his sights on making it to the top with the help of Danny Cowley, Matt Green and John Akinde: “Danny is really motivational and he wants me to learn about the game. When we are training, he tells me never to stay on a defender and always be wary of where the defenders are. He is very helpful and will help me take my football further.

“We were told to pick to a player to watch during first team games on Saturday and I have been looking at Matt Green and John Akinde.

“I watch how they are involved in the team and their personality in the changing room. I have started to pick up on what motivates them before a game and the way they are in a game with movement and communication.

“Hopefully I can continue to be involved in the first team and turn pro but that is the ultimate aim for me, anything can happen so we will have to see.”

Prior to his arrival at Sincil Bank, the attacker came through South East London based football organisation, EastSoccerBase which was founded by three local football coaches: Dave, Gabriel and James. With a portfolio of players going onto professional clubs, the 17-year-old is another success story produced by the setup.

Adebayo-Smith has put his success down to the help they provided: “When I didn’t get offered a scholarship with Watford or Cambridge, I just went into full time education but I was always playing football through EastSoccerBase. It wasn’t full time like I am experiencing now with Lincoln but it definitely helped with my career.

“David and James at EastSoccerBase would give one and one sessions but they also work with under 18’s all the way down to under six level in group training. I spent time with them before they put me through to Lincoln where I went on trial and thankfully scored against Derby County in a friendly.

“When I scored against Derby, I felt that I had made the club want me more so I would say that was a vital game in my career. I really liked being under pressure and it showed that I was cool and composed. 

Off the football pitch, the 17-year-old is an incredibly bright individual having studied Maths, Physics and Economics at school before pursuing his football dream. The attacker described the transition from the classroom to the football pitch as a big change: “I have always been educated because my mum is a math’s teacher, so I really enjoyed school but I love playing football as well. It was a big change going from school to playing academy football every day, but I enjoy football more so that’s why I took it on.”

Adebayo-Smith went on to share how he has found the change from being in full time education to a professional club’s academy setup: “The quality is so much better than what I experienced in Sunday league. The pitches, the training and the style of football is so much different.

“Being in a professional setup has motivated me as a footballer because it is different as I am not used to it. It has shown me that there is a big change in the way people talk about you. So, every time I wear the badge I need to have the right mindset to do it proud as we are in a professional environment.”

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