Monrovia to Moate: Boidu Sayeh’s extraordinary journey to play for Westmeath

Liberian-born 22-year-old thankful for his new life far from his African homeland

Boidu Sayeh: “I didn’t actually find Gaelic that hard to pick up really, thinking back – I had great coaches.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Boidu Sayeh: “I didn’t actually find Gaelic that hard to pick up really, thinking back – I had great coaches.” Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

One night, early on in his time with the Westmeath football panel, Boidu Sayeh pulled up a chair in a circle of his new teammates. It was a team meeting but not a team meeting at the same time. More a discussion group, a way of shedding shells about the place. The topic for the night was the challenges everyone had faced in their life and the floor was open to all.

The chat went around the room at the usual halting pace. A few stories about injuries, some lost grandparents here and there. Meanwhile, Sayeh sat waiting for his turn, not really knowing what to say.

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