Striker Nolan sets sights on pro future
Bermuda women's Under-17 striker Aaliya Nolan has been earmarked as a ‘one to watch' by the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) website, which featured the striker in a recent interview.
Such is Nolan's importance to the Under-17s, she was rested for tonight's 2-0 win over Grenada in the CFU World Cup qualifiers in Haiti.
Dazhja Greaves and Zahra Gibbons scored Bermuda's goals. Nolan, 16, struck at weekend to inspire the Under-17s to a 1-0 win over regional powerhouse Trinidad to help Bermuda reach the semi-finals of the CFU qualifiers. She also plundered hat-tricks in recent Under-17 and Under-20 qualifying games against Bahamas and Curacao.
Nolan, who can also operate on the left-wing, comes from a football family with her father and brother both donning the colours of Boulevard and PHC.
Her rise in prominence has coincided with her decision to focus solely on football having previously represented the Island at track and field, including last year's Carifta Games.
Harbouring hopes of turning professional in the future, Nolan said she is more than prepared the make the sacrifices in order to achieve her goal.
“When I was younger, I wanted to be professional athlete, but now, I want to play football at a professional level,” she the Berkeley Institute student.
“I know its going to take hard work and lots of dedication and sacrifices but I am willing to do my best to get there.”
Nolan, who helped Bermuda women's senior team win gold at the NatWest Island Games, believes her training as a heptathlete has proved beneficial to her football development.
“I'm very thankful to my track and field instructor, coach Jarita Vickers, who I still train with, and who helps me to maintain my fitness and endurance levels,” added Nolan, who also plays in the Bermuda Football Association's Futsal League.
“Also, my parents and my brother, who support me 100 percent and are my number one fans. Secondly, my soccer coaches, my National Academy women's teammates and my Bermuda teammates, who value my contribution and encourage me.”
Bermuda, who have won all three of their group matches in Haiti, are set for a crucial semi-final tomorrow with a place at the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers at stake.
Both finalists will advance in the Concacaf regional qualifiers scheduled for Jamaica from October 30 to November 9.
USA, Canada, Mexico, hosts Jamaica, Central American qualifiers El Salvador and Guatemala await the two CFU advancing teams.