Ebou Adams interview: Forest Green midfielder comes through the leagues to star for The Gambia at AFCON 2021

Ebou Adams remembers setting his personal deadline when he was taking part in for Dartford in the sixth tier. “I said to myself that if I am still here at 20 I might as well give up on my dream of making it as a professional,” he tells Sky Sports. “And then I did turn 20.”

Four-and-a-half years on and Adams is doing relatively higher than simply taking part in professionally. Not solely has he helped Forest Green Rovers to the high of the League Two desk, however this month he might be representing The Gambia at their first Africa Cup of Nations.

It is a big second for his household. Both of his dad and mom have been born there earlier than emigrating to England. “They are over the moon. They just want to see me play but my mum is a bit nervous because it is my first big tournament and it will be showcased everywhere.”

He has earned this. There was no academy background for Adams. His teenage years have been spent on mortgage at Walton Casuals in the Isthmian League. He would attend college in the week, prepare with Dartford on a Tuesday night and Walton Casuals on a Thursday.

On a Friday evening it was a shift at TGI Fridays. “I would get home pretty late and then have to travel on my own to play for Walton Casuals. It could be Worthing or Herne Bay. I would get back late on a Saturday and have to work again on a Sunday morning.”

He doesn’t remorse it. “I appreciate my route,” he provides. “Walton Casuals was one in all the greatest issues that occurred to me. It helped me to perceive males’s soccer. Jobs are on the line. People don’t desire to be relegated due to the monetary conditions they’re in.

“Dartford didn’t have the services of the high golf equipment both however that meant that once I did get to the Football League, I appreciated it extra. I’m not saying different gamers do not however, for me, it helped me respect taking part in on excellent pitches and having good showers.

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“It gave me the impetus to be a footballer.”

Adams didn’t have an academy background, working his means up the leagues

Studying sports activities science helped. “I made myself a better athlete.” Even the meals at TGI Fridays didn’t knock him off observe. “I think I got away with just the wings.” Adams didn’t make his self-imposed deadline however quickly afterwards, his life modified.

Norwich supplied him a contract.

He went from taking part in his final recreation for Dartford towards Havant and Waterlooville to dealing with Manchester United at Old Trafford in a improvement recreation. “I remember being on the pitch and just looking around, thinking about the great players who had played there.”

There have nonetheless been setbacks. Unable to make the breakthrough at Norwich, he went on mortgage to Shrewsbury and didn’t play a lot. While he had a happier time at Leyton Orient, he was again out of the Football League and being paid late at Ebbsfleet in 2019.

“It hit others more than me – players with families and mortgages. I was just a kid paying for my car and my phone bill. But it was difficult. There is no straight road to success.”

Adams in motion for Forest Green towards Bournemouth in 2019

It was the transfer to Forest Green that proved the catalyst. “I cannot even call it a team because it feels more like a family. We are like brothers.” Promotion now appears to be like probably. “I don’t want to say too much but I am enjoying how we have started.”

Adams has been integral.

“I would class myself as a box-to-box player. I am a player full of energy. I just love being involved in the game, whether it is defensive work or attacking work. I just love being in and around the game, getting in the box, making crunching tackles.”

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Perhaps he’ll present the world a few of these traits for The Gambia over the coming weeks. The adjustment to worldwide soccer had to be swift – he made his aggressive debut towards Algeria. “I think you could say I was thrown in at the deep end.”

But it’s serving to his recreation.

“It is quite intriguing as a player. It widens my knowledge because I have to adapt to different tactics. You have to be so tactically aware when the stakes are high.”


Wednesday twelfth January 3:55pm

The Gambia start their match towards Mauritania earlier than dealing with Mali and Tunisia. They are newcomers however there’s high quality there. Musa Barrow performs for Bologna, Ebrima Darboe is at Roma and Omar Colley is an everyday at Sampdoria. “We have such good players.”

Then there’s Adams himself. From TGI Fridays to the Africa Cup of Nations. The journey just isn’t over but.

“I am looking forward to it and nervous at the same time. But we have nothing to lose so we can play with freedom and enjoy it. The aim is to make the knockout stages, maybe to go all the way and, you never know, maybe to win it. Personally, a goal would be good.

“Hopefully we will simply make a press release to the continent. We don’t desire to simply sit again, we would like to be a part of the celebration with the massive boys.

“Everyone is so excited. Let’s see how far we can go.”

Watch Mauritania vs The Gambia dwell on Sky Sports Football from 3.55pm on Wednesday; kick-off 4pm

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Sourse: skysports.com

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