When football came back post-lockdown, the women’s game didn’t follow suit. Their season was made to end early and Chelsea were handed the Women’s Super League title on a points-per-game average basis.
Down a tier in the Women’s Championship, the same thing happened but it was Aston Villa who were promoted to the top division while Charlton were spared relegation after all results from the divisions below were made null and void and expunged from the record books.
One woman in the thick of it all was London City Lionesses midfielder Freda Ayisi, who while churning out a professional career for herself in England’s womens game has also become a social media sensation with her Youtube channel.
During this exclusive interview with her, she told me how she felt about when she found out the season had been curtailed.
“Honestly, my first thought was this virus is really serious if this is happening. It’s been weird but you just have to get on with it. Lockdown consisted of watching loads of series’ and trying to stay fit which was difficult.“
Ayisi has played at the top level of the women’s game before, previously representing Arsenal, Birmingham City, Leicester City and now London City Lionesses. She says she owes her love of football to her older brothers and cousins, who she used to watch play regularly. From there her love for the game grew and she took it seriously immediately.
“Well I started playing from the age of five and loved it so it’s always been taken seriously. I’ve gained different experiences from all the clubs I’ve been at so I think that’s helped too.“
Growing up, her idol was the legendary Brazilian forward Ronaldinho who won the Ballon d’Or during his years at Barcelona. She also cites tennis star Serena Williams as an idol from outside the football world but it was the flicks and tricks of ‘Dinho’ that got Ayisi interested in starting a Youtube channel.
“I’ve always enjoyed making videos doing tricks and skills so I thought I’d make a YouTube channel. I think my favourite video at the moment is me vs Perm. It was fun filming it and it just makes me laugh to be honest. The most recent one of the #FredaTouch too.“
The #FredaTouch is a video that has gone viral on Twitter this week, with Ayisi showing off her stunning first touch. A ball is thrown from the top of a housing estate and Ayisi controls it and brings it back up with the ball stuck to her foot all in one swift motion. According to her, there is even more to come on the channel too.
“Honestly it was three takes, after I got it I tried other little tricks with it. I’ve got loads of plans and ideas I can’t reveal right now but I do want the channel to continue to grow. I really want to stay consistent with it.“
At just 26 years old, Ayisi still has a large chunk of her career ahead of her but that doesn’t mean that she hasn’t got one eye on the future already.
“Goals before I retire? I’d say getting back into the top division again and winning some titles. Then after retirement I want to get into media. Hopefully that opportunity arises.“
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Freda Ayisi – Football Freestyles and Challenges