Bournemouth goalkeeper Joseph Oluwabusola has his eyes set on securing the starting spot when the Golden Eaglets take on Hungary at the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup on Saturday, October 26.
Born in Goodmayes, Essex, England, Oluwabusola’s first visit to Nigeria was in 2018 when he attended a Nigeria U17 training camp before the WAFU-UFOA Zone B qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations.
he opted to represent Nigeria over England because he was keen to know his roots, learn first hand the cultural diversity of Nigeria with an open mind and wanted to add value to Nigeria football.
It was a bit of culture shock when he first reported for international duty last year but he quickly adjusted and did not allow the food, weather or anything to distract him in his ambition to make the U17 team.
Language had been an issue too but he now commands his teammates on the pitch with mixture of local dialects – Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Pidgin English – to the delight of his colleagues and coaching staff.
Blessed with good technical skills and ability to read play, Oluwabusola has been tipped for stardom even before he became a teenager.
Here is the written report of his sports master and coach while he was at Felsted Preparatory School in Essex, England at the age of eleven :
”As a sportsman he has natural ability, a high level of skill and a competitive nature that lends itself to a successful balance on the game’s field.
”He has great agility and reactions to make great saves. He has been a real talisman within the team and certainly sets the examples on the pitch.”
Oluwabusola models his game after six world class goalkeepers; Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer for venturing outfield, Tottenham’s Lloris for breathtaking saves, Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois for his commanding presence and calmness in goal, Man City’s Ederson for his spot on passes and brilliant footwork, Manchester United’s De Gea for his gravity defying saves and Atlético Madrid’s Oblak for his consistency positioning and brilliant shot-stopping ability.
His current school, Winchester College has helped him with cadet training in Marine Corps and exposed him to hard military trainings and drills before his trip to Brazil for the U17 World Cup.