On this website, we have seen a couple of Welsh footballers head over to Iceland to ply their trade. James Drobka talks to young Welsh women’s footballer Nadia Lawrence who currently plays out in Iceland for IBV.
Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself.
A bit about myself?! I am 23, come from the Pembrokeshire in West Wales and come from a very sporty family. I have a degree in business and management and should graduate with a masters in sport sociology in September (touch wood)! No more education (seriously!!).
How did your move to IBV in Iceland come about? How are you enjoying your time there?
The move to Iceland came about though Jarmo (Matikainen) the current Welsh Women’s National team manager. The opportunity was there and I took it. I went for a trial and that was that. I was playing at Cardiff City and for Cardiff Metropolitan University, I was really enjoying my time there and we had not finished the season yet, so it was a decision I thought about for a while and had to ask for a lot of advice about. But in the end I knew I would always think ‘what if?’ and the experience I am gaining now is most definitely valuable to my future as a player. I am training in a team environment nearly everyday now and I can already feel the benefits.
I am really enjoying my time now. The first 12 weeks were not so good. I kept getting injuries and was unable to play; so when you have to prove yourself and can’t play to your full potential or have to turn around and say to the coach you can’t play at all, even though it was the reason for me coming to Iceland, that was difficult and very frustrating for me. I felt useless. But I know a few players now with injuries which will take a lot longer to recover, so in that respect I count myself lucky.
Then I came back from injury and played three full 90 minute games in midfield in six days. I loved it though! I scored my first goal so I was happy. Midfield is a new position for me having played the number 9 position or wing for Cardiff Met and Cardiff City, but I am really enjoying playing in the midfield and learning the role.
My personal aim here is to simply work hard and ensure I go home a better player. Development is always my aim because I see the player I want to be. The experience I am getting has already developed me as a player. Both physically and mentally. I think I am learning not to be such a confidence player now do am maybe more consistent in my performances. if I done something wrong sometimes my head would go down, now I am learning when a training session or something in a game didn’t go as I hoped, to just put it right next time. I am starting to feel better in training as my fitness is coming back, this last week especially. I still have some way to go but I am doing my best to be sensible and build my fitness gradually.
There’s quite a big British contingent in Iceland, within men and women’s football – has that helped you settle?
There is no doubt that the Welsh Women’s National team is developing, I have only just become a part of the squad this last year and even in that short space of time I have witnessed improvement. How close are we to qualifying for a major tournament? I wouldn’t say we are far off, but of course there is a lot to do, especially with the World Cup Qualifiers coming up. Jarmo is working with all U17, U19 and the seniors to get to that level. Wales have some great players at the moment: (Jess) Fishlock, Gwen (Harries), Tash, (Sophie) Ingle, Dyksey, Lander and more, all good examples for other players coming through and taking the step up to international football.
Would you consider moving to other European countries to play football?
Thanks to Nadia for speaking to James and Lost Boyos. Good luck with the rest of the season and all the best for the future.
You can follow James on Twitter at @JamesDrobka and you can follow Nadia Lawrence at @LawrenceNadia.