Former Super Falcons of Nigeria goalkeeper Rachael Ayegba has shared some of her experiences since becoming a bus driver in London, England.
Ayegba was a member of the Nigerian team at the 2007 Women’s World Cup.
She was also part of the squad to the 2006 and 2008 Women’s Africa Cup of Nationals and had an 11-year stint as a pro in Finland, winning the league title in 2013 with PK-35 Vantaa.
The former shot stopper, who is in the middle of a year’s training, now drives the number 185 between Lewisham and Victoria.
The 35-year-old who moved to England in 2018, says she had visited London for years on holiday and always admired the double decker buses.
She works for Go-Ahead, the bus and train giant that operates about a fifth of the capital’s buses on behalf of TfL.
She reckons driving a bus and playing in goal have a lot in common, which is about safety first and about not making a mistake.
“When you are trying to save the ball, you need safe hands. But there are ten others on your side,” she was quoted on Evening Standard.
“When you drive a bus, you are on your own.
“Mentally you have to be 100% ready, if you are a goalkeeper the defenders can help you. You can’t make any mistakes driving a bus.”
On the issue of bus drivers not getting enough respect, she said:“They don’t. I think we just see a bus driver as a nobody. I see them more like a pilot, if anything goes wrong, it’s on them. Now I’ve done the training, the people I respect most, after my family, are the drivers.”
Ayegba, who said her favourite player was Cristiano Ronaldo, also said that she doesn’t play football anymore, though she has coaching licenses.
“I am old. You have to know when to stop,” she added.
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