Thu | Dec 3, 2020

Can’t stop, won’t stop - National award recipient Khadija Shaw relentless in pursuit of further success

Published:Monday | October 19, 2020 | 7:30 AMDaniel Wheeler/Staff Reporter
SHAW
SHAW

A historic 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup appearance, featured as one of the 100 best players in the world in women’s football, becoming the all-time national top scorer for both men and women, and now, the recipient of a national award. The milestones for national striker Khadija Shaw are accumulating quickly, but she says she is still hungry for further success

Shaw, 23 years old, will receive the Order of Distinction, Officer Class, for outstanding achievements in football at the National Awards ceremony today. The event, usually held on the lawns of King’s House, will be done remotely this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Having already made significant strides in her career, she has already immersed herself into her second season with French club Bordeaux, who she signed with last year before the World Cup. Two months into the 2020-21 campaign, Shaw is the league’s leading scorer after five games played.

While she credits the hard work that she has put in, Shaw says that she doesn’t plan to rest on her laurels.

“I don’t put all my achievements in ranks,” Shaw told The Gleaner. “I am always on the go, on to the next personal objective, trying to better myself, and most importantly, having fun with it.”

FOOTBALLER OF THE YEAR 2018

Shaw played a significant part in Jamaica’s World Cup qualifying campaign, which saw her being named Footballer of the Year in 2018 by English newspaper The Guardian. Since then, she played in all three World Cup group games in June 2019 then scored her 40th goal for Jamaica, eclipsing former Reggae Boy Luton Shelton as the country’s all-time leading scorer during Olympic qualifying.

At the club, level although the pandemic ended her debut season in France prematurely, she still scored 10 goals in 15 appearances and helped Bordeaux to finish third in the league, behind Paris Saint-Germain and champions Lyon. While she said that she needed to adjust to the style of play, she said that she is happy with last season.

“I think I did well for my first season here,” she said. “Obviously, certain things are different compared to what I am used to, for example, the style of play. So it was just to get acclimated to the style, and I think I have settled in well, so far.”

Coming off scoring four goals in Bordeaux’s recent 6-1 win over Fleury 91, Shaw said that she desires to continue improving as a player.

“My goal for this season is to help the team achieve the goals that we have set,” she said. “And as it relates to getting better, spending more time getting my weaknesses on the same level or closer to my strengths.”

Shaw’s contract with Bordeaux will expire in the summer, and while a decision will have to be made regarding her long-term future, she says that her priority is to help her team win.

“It’s a long season,” she said. “I am focused on the team’s objectives, and I am sure thoughts will come close towards the end of the season.”

daniel.wheeler@gleanerjm.com