The next generation of English abroad – Shama Bako & Jubril Adedeji

I regularly post interviews with players who are already making an impact on the first team stage but what about the next generation? Are there any English players coming through at academies abroad?

In fact, two youngsters did make the move abroad last autumn. The first was Jubril Adedeji. After leaving Watford last summer, the 18-year-old forward joined the academy of Danish second-tier side HB Köge. He had played in the FA Youth Cup with Watford last season and had also trained with the first team.

The same also happened for Shama Bako. Also 18-years-old and a forward, he was born in Zimbabwe before moving to the UK. After leaving Northampton Town last summer he joined German fourth-tier side VfB Lübeck, the former club of Gary Noel.

I caught up with the two hot prospects to ask them a few questions about why they moved abroad and how they’re settling in.

English Players Abroad: How did the move abroad come about and what convinced you to make the move?

Jubril Adedeji: My good friend Marian Huja (former Watford youth player now playing in the first team at HB Köge) telling me how much success he was having playing out there. An opportunity came to go out there through our mutual contact and I had to take it.

Shama Bako: The move to Germany came from an agent that was always in touch with me and who was monitoring my progress whilst I was at Northampton. I made the move because I thought it was something new and maybe I’d have a better chance making it in the first team abroad and maybe I’d be able to continue my career back in England [later on].

EPA: Do you think you have a better chance of first team football abroad?

JA:  know for a fact that I have a better chance. Upon arrival they put me in with the first team. They wanted to see what I had about me and to see if you express yourself and work hard. It does not matter about age. 

SB: I think I do have a better chance playing in the first team abroad because the standard of football in England is very good, the best in the world and England is where a developed. So if I’m able to take that to a different country I guess it gives me more of a chance.

EPA: Were you worried or nervous about moving abroad by yourself?

JA:  I was not worried, I was too focused on the opportunity at hand to be worried. I’ve been looked after well and I just continue to be fearless because it shows off your mentality.

SB: Yeah I was nervous about moving by myself but more excited. It’s all a different culture, you don’t know you’re way around places and you’ve got to make new mates, which is the hardest thing being an 18 year old lad. I’ve been in Germany for five months now and I’ve settled in well and made some friends so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

EPA: Finally, have any of your old teammates back in the UK been in touch asking for advice on a move abroad?

JA: A lot of people ask me what it’s like, I just tell them it is as good as people say. It’s the perfect environment to concentrate and learn. My advice on moving abroad would be to approach it with a fearless attitude and just do what you feel is best for yourself at the end of the day.

SB: Yeah a couple of my mates have asked what it’s like and how they could get over and I’ve given them some advice of the best way and if they’d like to come over I’d always help them, so we will just see how many make it over.

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