Richard Adiyia Interview

2 03 2012

America is the birthplace of this great sport we play and to grace any sort of pitch over there would be a dream come true. One GB Youth running back has done exactly that, but unfortunately for him, he now resides in Stoke-on-Trent.

Richard Adiyia, 18, currently plays for the Staffordshire Stallions in BUAFL; something nobody would have wished or hoped for after growing up in Philadelphia, USA.

Richard Adiyia

“I first played football when I was 8 years old in a Pee-wee league for a team called Crispin, across the pond in Philadelphia. I only played one season for them, because the year after my mum decided to move us to England”.

Richard and his family eventually settled in Leicestershire meaning football had to take a back seat for a while;

“Despite being in the UK where the recognition for the sport was not great at the time, I still wanted to carry on playing football but being told I was too young to play was hard. I decided to change my sporting path and turned to athletics”.

Thankfully athletics didn’t keep this talent from us for too long as Richard represented the Lincolnshire Bombers during the summer before joining up with the Stallions in September.

Game MVP in pre-season contest vs Crewe Railroaders

Averaging 4.7 yards per carry, Adiyia’s rookie season has personally been a successful one, even if his team has struggled in the harsh climate of the Midland Athletic Conference.

“It definitely hasn’t been the season I wanted it to be with some tough losses and wanting more yards and trips into the end zone, but I have still done well. We have one more game to go and I’m definitely looking for some big runs and the win”.

Adiyia heard about the GB Youth trials after fellow Stallions Moses Ogundeji and Julian Myles attended the senior event in Doncaster.

“With Julian and Moses going along to the senior trials, it influenced me to represent the Stallions at the junior trials. I also felt the need to prove to myself, I can do what I put mind to with some hard work and determination”.

Adiyia dominated the trials but only received confirmation of his selection recently.

“We had combine style tests such as the 40 yard dash and I posted the fastest times in my group for all 3 tests. We were assigned to our positional coaches where we did more drills and paired up with the linebackers for some contact. Finally we finished with a scrimmage, running the plays that were given to us in an earlier meeting.

Richard Adiyia versus Crewe Railroaders

I was checking my emails constantly after the trials, once they sent the email I didn’t even want to open it, I felt that nervous. When I eventually read that I was selected for the program I was elated, it felt like all the hard work and  preparation before the trials had paid off”.

Having been selected, Richard cannot wait to represent the Great Britain Youth team in Italy next season.

“Now that I have been selected I have to go to three training sessions in March, May and August. The session in August is the travelling squad selection practice, where they chose the game day team to travel to Italy to qualify for the 2013 European Junior Championships.

To get on that plane and represent the country would definitely be a once in a lifetime experience”.

FightForTheYard wishes Richard and the entire Great British Youth team the best of luck in the coming months.

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