It’s been some year for Adisu Bayew. From starring in Western United’s inaugural NPL squad, to making his A-League Men debut in May and signing his first scholarship contract with the Club in July.
But perhaps the most outstanding accomplishment of 2021 was a maiden call-up to the Olyroos squad, where the 19-year-old helped the side qualify for next year’s AFC U23 Asian Cup.
“That was a special moment for me and my family. It’s what we dream about growing up. To be given the opportunity to play was a very exciting moment for me. I hope I can get called up in future camps and other tournaments coming up,” Bayew said.
“That has showed me how quickly things can change in football, and all the hard work I’ve put in and the preparation that I’ve done is coming in and it’s making me want to work ten times harder so I can get those opportunities again and be part of those amazing experiences.”
Bayew has returned to Western United with the motivation from that national team experience and earned his first minutes of the season.
While he said he was surprised when he heard his name called to come off the bench against Melbourne City, Bayew said it was fantastic to be back out there and play a role in the side’s big win.
“It was amazing. Against a team like Melbourne City, we knew it was going to be a difficult task for us to get three points,” he said.
“To be able to get some minutes on the weekend was very exciting for me. It motivates me to continue working hard so I can make more appearances in the season.”
In a year of debuts for Bayew, he could be set for another one when Western United takes on Wellington Phoenix in the FFA Cup Round of 32.
It is a moment that will come full circle for Bayew, who made his A-League Men debut against Wellington last season, and he said the memories will come flooding back if he is able to take them on again.
“To be able to play them again, it’s special because I know those memories that are in the back of my head. It’s a special game,” he said.
Adisu Bayew looking forward to strong season at Western United
Now with the foundations laid across the year, Bayew is eager to keep the hard work going moving into 2022 and beyond.
With a chance to be part of that U23 Asian Cup squad in Uzbekistan next year and a big season ahead at club level, Bayew is gearing up for what he hopes will be a landmark season to push his career on further.
“I really want to have that breakout season, continue to get more appearances. Obviously I’m attacking player, I want to get goals in,” he said.
“I just want to get comfortable playing professionally, get comfortable in the league and be able to express myself and show what I’m capable of.”
Bayew is one of a number of young players to have come through the Western United academy in its first year, and they will all be hoping to earn some minutes against Wellington as John Aloisi prepares to shuffle the pack.