It took passion, courage and the help of God in Mainz – Taiwo Awoniyi

EaglesTracker Exclusive by Ayotunde Ogala

22-year old forward, Taiwo Awoniyi signed as a Liverpool player in 2015.

The 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup winner spent the 2019/2020 on loan at FSV Mainz.

Following the conclusion of the league season, he spoke exclusively with Ayotunde Ogala of EaglesTracker about his loan spell, and time with the German Bundesliga club.

Asked about his general outlook on the season, he said, “I will first start by saying this. Every loan I have been on has always proven that my belief and trust in God is everything, and this time in Mainz has proven that again. I am not the perfect believer, but God has proven all of every individual should be all of him and that’s why everything that’s has happened here, I give him all the glory.”

Speaking on his loan spell with FSV Mainz, Taiwo described how he faced some early challenges. “To the game as a whole, it was a really challenging and difficult moment. I arrived a bit late to Mainz, without doing the preseason with them because I was injured and with LFC (Liverpool) for treatment. It is difficult to play directly (get into the quad) when you are not with them from the start. Your lone chance is to be introduced during the game. I always say this, for every loan player, mostly as a striker, your chance is when you are introduced even if it is for 5 to 25 minutes. Your only chance to impress is to make a mark in the game with a goal, and if the team is struggling there’s less you can do in such few minutes. So, the next thing is you go back to the bench or are even left out of the squad.”, he said to EaglesTracker.

He explained that opportunities could sometimes be handed unfairly to players owned by the club, rather than giving an earned opportunity to a player brought in on loan.

“A player of the club will have the same chance and still keep his place in the team or even start for almost all the games and still keep his place. That’s the business part of the game sometimes, but in a scenario where you are able to start or you enter and leave your mark with a goal or with a great outing, then you have started cementing your place and your only chance to start. That’s the disadvantage with being on loan sometimes.

Here in Mainz, it took passion, courage, belief in myself and above all, the help of God regarding the situation but the great part of it is that in the end, everyone at the club was telling me, “ I’m so proud of you, in what you’ve shown as an athlete”. People from Mainz and even my parent club, Liverpool.”

Asked about who in particular had praised his efforts while on loan, Awoniyi said, “For me I think everyone in Mainz was so happy for me, I see my teammates telling me, yes I scored, but I’m happier for you scoring, and texting me how glad they are for me after those months. The entire staff was also glad for me. From Liverpool, the loan director was always in contact during the season and there was a time when the only league on was the Bundesliga. Most of the team physios looking after my previous injury sent me texts, and one of the fitness coaches as well.”

Lastly there’s nothing I can be more grateful for than surviving that crash. The referee did a great job and thanks to all medical staff of Mainz and above all thanks to God is the author of it all”. Taiwo Awoniyi was involved in a scary collision during Mainz’ Bundesliga match against FC Augsburg in June. He clashed heads with defender, Felix Udoakhai and lost consciousness even before hitting the ground. He was revived on-field by the match referee, before being rushed to hospital, where he regained full consciousness and recovered after being diagnosed with a concussion.

On the efforts of referee, he said, “I think it’s a part of the game that every country needs to look at. We all can see that it is entertainment for some, for some it’s business and for others it’s their passion and greatest dream. So many precautions need to be put in place, and that’s what helped in my situation. I think most European leagues know all that already, and we can do the same in Africa as well”. It was Awoniyi’s final appearance of the season. “I started training again with the team after some days and I could play again, but the medical team advised me it was best to skip the last game just to take the precautions, and I agreed with them.”

“All is okay now and we will see what next season brings.”

Part 2 of the EaglesTracker exclusive Interview out next week, Friday July 10,2020.

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