Super Falcons striker Rasheedat Ajibade has described her move to Norwegian club Avaldsnes IL as a dream come true with the transfer coming just few weeks after she helped Nigeria win the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations in Ghana for a record ninth time. The 19-year-old was handed a two-year contract in Norway after ending a nine-year stay with Lagos-based Nigerian Women Premier League club FC Robo Queens.
“I am grateful to God and it feels like a dream come true,” said Ajibade of the deal. She added: “I’ve been so excited since I secured my deal, being it’s my first professional contract. Before going to Ghana (for the Africa Women Cup of Nations), I had told myself that I have to go there to fight for my place and prove my worth to everyone.”
Ajibade, who scored once in four appearances at the 2018 AWCON, revealed her determination to do well at the Nations Cup to raise her profile at FC Robo Queens or secure a move outside Nigeria: “I also vowed that I will not leave Robo Queens to any other club in Nigeria, but work hard for a good offer abroad comes for me. It’s definitely going to be a stepping stone because it won’t end there as it’s another journey for me.
“I think playing for Avaldsnes and being introduced to the European style of play in my game will polish my skills and improve my personality. I just have to go there and perform better, gain more experience than what I’ve had already. I believe the club will help me improve and also challenge for my place in the Super Falcons ahead of the next year’s Women’s World Cup. With God and my performance, I promise to help my club succeed in Norway and make the Nigeria squad to France.”
Ajibade further issued an emotional farewell message to her childhood club, FC Robo Queens, and coach Emmanuel Osahon while pledging to remain a good ambassador of the club. “I wish to appreciate everyone at FC Robo Queens for how far and much they have contributed to my development and career success so far. To the upcoming players at Robo, if it can happen to me, I believe everyone can have the same opportunity of going far and wide. I will urge them to keep working hard and doing their best.”
“I love them and will miss everyone at the club. I want them to know that any day and anytime, I still remain at Robo Queen and will always represent them well anywhere I find myself and will do my best to give back to the club. I also want to thank coach Osahon. He has been the backbone of every success I’ve achieved today and has tolerated and persevered with me. I am very grateful to him,” Ajibade said.
Meanwhile, Avaldsnes manager Lena Tyriberget believe they have snapped up one of Africa’s most promising young talents ahead of the 2019 Toposerien season which starts in March.