‘Put that kind of speed on the football pitch and it can do some damage’ - Dasaolu looking to tear through defences with Dereham Town

Jerry Dasaolu is looking forward to showcasing his pace for Dereham after moving from Wroxham. Pictu

Jerry Dasaolu is looking forward to showcasing his pace for Dereham after moving from Wroxham. Picture: Rob Groom - Credit: Archant

Dereham Town forward Jerry Dasaolu speaks to Mark Armstrong about taking the next step in his career and using his sprinter brother for inspiration

Dereham boss Adam Gusterson is excited by the signing for Jerry Dasaolu. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham boss Adam Gusterson is excited by the signing for Jerry Dasaolu. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Archant

Dereham Town new boy Jerry Dasaolu may not have had to speed to compete at the top level in athletics.

However, the 24-year-old is confident he has the pace to give a few defenders sleepless nights when he lines up for the Magpies in the Isthmian North Division this season.

Dasaolu, who signed for Dereham from Wroxham in June, initially followed a similar path to his brother James, who is the second fastest Briton of all time and former European champion over 100m.

However, Jerry Dasaolu found that it was the team environment that brought the best out of him.

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“Speed has always been my biggest weapon on the football pitch,” said Jerry, who graduated from Loughborough University two years ago. “When it came to athletics, I had the speed but I didn’t have the mental aspect to it.

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“With sprinting it’s all on you, whereas with football the pressure is shared around the team a bit more and something I feel more comfortable in.

“I think my personal best was 11.2 seconds for 100m, which compared to the top-class sprinters is pretty slow. However, if you put that kind of speed on the football pitch then it can do some damage.”

Family affair

Despite not hitting the sprinting heights of his brother, Jerry insisted James’ achievements have always acted as an inspiration to him.

“I followed the same route as James initially in going to Loughborough (University) and he has always been really supportive in whatever I do. He’s always helped me out with extra sessions and he’s someone I’m grateful to be able to call on given the experiences he’s had at the top level.

“Through my brother I’ve been able to see what it takes to become a professional and how to look after your body.”

Life at Aldiss Park

Dasaolu would love to move through the football pyramid and decided to take a step up in June when moving from Wroxham to Dereham. The forward had been on the Magpies’ radar for some time and they made their move following their 5-1 win over the Yachtsmen in the Norfolk Senior Cup final in February.

“I had always played quite well against Dereham and after that cup game the manager spoke to me and said he thought I had what it takes to make the step up,” he said.

“It’s obviously been difficult since with the coronavirus but the club have been excellent. They have been really professional in dealing with the COVID stuff from the off.

“We’re all masked up in the dressing room and there’s only six of us in there at a time, which seems a bit strange but it’s good that they’re looking after us all.

“We have played all our pre-season matches now and we’ve established the way we want to play.

“There’s a lot of competition for places and everyone is competing to get one of those starting shirts, which is a healthy situation.”

Next step

Dasaolu knows he has the speed and ability to impact games with Dereham and hopes he can discover the missing ingredient to take his game to the next level.

“I need to work on consistency – that’s what I’m striving for,” he added. “Game after game you’ve got to be delivering and that’s the difference between part time and full time football.”

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