NSL Player Focus: Funmi Fadoju (London Pulse)

THE LONDON Pulse continued their winning ways on the weekend, with another solid win this time over the Sirens.

One of the stars of that match was Funmi Fadoju, whose athletic ability was on full display, finishing with a whopping 12 deflections alongside two intercepts and a rebound.

This Player Focus takes a look at her game and tries to pick apart why she is as good as she is.

Coming down the court from the very first centre pass, she marked her direct opponent Stella Oyella really tightly and her focus was on Oyella, but when they both finally got into the circle, Fadoju rolled back onto Bethan Goodwin as Oyella was being marked by Halimat Adio.

Down the court, Fadoju’s priority was not necessarily to always be in front of Oyella, but be close enough that she could rely on her speed and her leap to intercept the ball.

This continued as the quarter progressed, and in the defensive third Fadoju would often roll of Oyella and head straight for the circle even if it Oyella stayed outside. This was a risky strategy because it left Oyella free to keep having an influence on the outside of the circle, but it also left Goodwin double teamed, which made the path into the circle that much tricker because of Fadoju’s leap capabilities.

Speaking of her leap, her vertical leap is particularly impressive. Not the tallest defender going around, she is able to play like someone who is much taller simply with the height she is able to reach with her vertical jump.

It did not take long for Fadoju’s athletic reach to be on full display, as she recorded her first deflection inside the first 20 seconds of the game.

Even when not in defence, Fadoju does not rest. Like any good goal defence, she is always moving and attempting to get herself in the best place to be that passing option as the Pulse move down the court if need be.

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