Eniola Aluko

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Eniola Aluko
E Aluko2009.jpg
Personal information
Full name Eniola Aluko
Date of birth (1987-02-21) 21 February 1987 (age 27)
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria
Height 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Chelsea Ladies
Number 9
Youth career
Leafield Athletic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2001–2004 Birmingham City Ladies
2004–2007 Charlton Athletic Ladies
2007–2009 Chelsea Ladies
2009–2010 Saint Louis Athletica 25 (10)
2010 Atlanta Beat 14 (5)
2011 Sky Blue FC 15 (4)
2012 Birmingham City Ladies 13 (4)
2012– Chelsea Ladies
National team
2004– England 83 (26)
2012– Great Britain 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:45, 28 September 2009 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:00, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Eniola "Eni" Aluko (born 21 February 1987) is an English football forward who plays for Chelsea Ladies of the FA WSL. Aluko moved with her family to Birmingham when she was one year old.[1] Since she grew up in England, she chose to represent England at international level.[2]

Club career[edit]

Birmingham City[edit]

Born in Lagos, Aluko started her career at Leafield Athletic Ladies.[3] She then went on to play for Birmingham City Ladies' youth team under manager Marcus Bignot and alongside future England team-mate, Karen Carney.[4] She scored on her Birmingham team debut against Leeds United, aged just 14.[5] In April 2002, 15-year-old Aluko played in the FA Women's Premier League Cup final, as a young Birmingham team lost 7–1 to professional Fulham.[6] Aluko's goalscoring during the following 2002–03 Premier League season led Bignot to declare her "the Wayne Rooney of women's football."[7]

Aluko was named Young Player of the Year at the Women’s FA Awards in 2003.[2][3]

Charlton Athletic[edit]

She left to join Charlton Athletic in January 2004,[8] and since then continued to show great promise. Pace is one of great her attributes and this was at the fore when she sprinted onto a through ball from Emma Coss to score the winning goal in the 2005 FA Women’s Cup Final at Upton Park.[9]

Aluko added to her growing reputation by scoring twice in Charlton's 2–1 victory over Arsenal in the 2006 FA Women's Premier League Cup final.

Chelsea[edit]

Following the withdrawal of support for the Charlton ladies team by the parent club,[10] Aluko joined Chelsea Ladies in July 2007.[11]

United States[edit]

Eniola Aluko against the Boston Breakers

In October 2008 Aluko's Women's Professional Soccer playing rights were obtained by St. Louis who named her as a post-draft discovery player. She was the team's leading goalscorer for their first season with six goals, and also led in assists with four, making her one of the main reasons Athletica was able to climb from a last place in the first two months of the season to a commanding second by the end. She missed the playoffs and the All-Star game due to national team duty.

When Saint Louis Athletica folded part way through the 2010 campaign, Aluko joined Atlanta Beat.[12] She was traded to Sky Blue FC in December 2010.[13]

Back to England[edit]

Eniola Aluko October 2012

When WPS went into abeyance for the 2012 season, Aluko had already decided to return to England. She signed for Birmingham City, describing them as "more stable".[14] After a single season at Birmingham, where Aluko was a substitute in the 2012 FA Women's Cup Final, she signed for Chelsea in December 2012.[15]

International career[edit]

Aluko in 2014

England[edit]

Although born in Nigeria, Aluko was called into the England set-up at the age of 14. She chose to remain loyal to the English coaches who had given her the opportunity to play international football, but said: "The main thing for me is for people to understand that choosing to play for England doesn't mean that I don't support Nigeria. I'm as much Nigerian as I'm British. Of course Nigeria means a lot to me, it's part of me, but I've been brought up by English coaches."[16]

Having represented England at Under-17 level,[17] Aluko scored on her debut at Under-19 level and appeared in the UEFA Under-19 European Championship Finals in Germany in July 2003 while aged only 16 years.[18] She later played at Under-21 level, before making her senior debut, aged 17, against the Netherlands in September 2004.[19] Her first senior goal came against the Czech Republic at Walsall in May 2005,[20] and she added two more in the 13–0 away win against Hungary that October.[21]

Aluko played in UEFA Women's Euro 2005, despite a clash with her A-Level studies.[22] She sat a history exam on the morning of England's 2–1 defeat to Denmark.[23] In the final group game against Sweden Aluko almost scored a bizarre equaliser, but was left disappointed as hosts England lost 1–0 and exited the competition.[24]

At the FIFA Women's World Cup 2007, Aluko featured in group games against Japan and Argentina, as well as the 3–0 quarter-final defeat to the United States.[25] After the tournament she was critical of FA and the level of financial support provided to England's top female players.[26] Aluko featured much more prominently at UEFA Women's Euro 2009, scoring in the group match win over Russia[27] and adding two more in the quarter-final victory over hosts Finland.[28] She also provided an assist for Kelly Smith's opening goal in the semi-final against the Netherlands.[29] In the final Aluko played on the left-wing as England lost out 6–2 to Germany in Helsinki.[30]

Aluko netted against Switzerland in September 2010 as England qualified for the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011.[31] During the final tournament, Aluko responded angrily to public criticism of her performance in the 1–1 draw with Mexico, in which she wasted multiple goalscoring opportunities.[32] She was substituted at half–time in the following group match against New Zealand,[33] and dropped to the bench for the final group match with Japan, playing the last half an hour of England's 2–0 win.[34] Aluko was an unused substitute as England were eliminated by France at the quarter final stage.[35]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list England's goal tally first.
# Date Venue Opponent Result Competition Scored
1 26 May 2005 Bescot Stadium, Walsall  Czech Republic 4–1 Friendly 1
3 27 October 2005 Tapolca  Hungary 13–0 2007 FIFA World Cup Qual. 2
4 8 March 2007 National Hockey Stadium, Milton Keynes  Russia 6–0 Friendly 1
5 27 October 2007 Bescot Stadium, Walsall  Belarus 4–0 2009 UEFA Championship Qual. 1
6 10 March 2009 Larnaca  Scotland 3–0 Cyprus Cup 1
7 28 August 2009 Finnair Stadium, Helsinki  Russia 3–2 2009 UEFA Championship 1
9 3 September 2009 Veritas Stadion, Turku  Finland 3–2 2009 UEFA Championship 2
10 22 March 2010 Loftus Road, London  Austria 3–0 2011 FIFA World Cup qual. 1
11 16 September 2010 Stadion Niedermatten, Wohlen  Switzerland 3–2 2011 FIFA World Cup Qual. 1
12 19 September 2012 Bescot Stadium, Walsall  Croatia 3–0 UEFA Euro 2013 Qual. 1
13 11 March 2013 GSZ Stadium, Larnaca  New Zealand 3–1 2013 Cyprus Cup 1
14 26 June 2013 Pirelli Stadium, Burton  Japan 1–1 Friendly 1
15 12 July 2013 Arena Linköping, Linköping  Spain 2–3 Euro 2013 1
16 21 September 2013 Dean Court, Bournemouth  Belarus 6–0 2015 FIFA World Cup Qual. 1
18 26 September 2013 Fratton Park, Portsmouth  Turkey 8–0 2015 FIFA World Cup Qual. 2
19 31 October 2013 5 Ocak Stadium, Adana  Turkey 4-0 2015 FIFA World Cup Qual. 1
20 17 January 2014  ???, La Manga  Norway 1-1 Friendly 1
21 2 March 2014 GSZ Stadium, Larnaca  Finland 3-0 2014 Cyprus Cup 1
22 5 April 2014 American Express Community Stadium, Brighton  Montenegro 9–0 2015 FIFA World Cup Qual. 1
24 8 May 2014 Greenhous Meadow, Shrewsbury  Ukraine 4–0 2015 FIFA World Cup Qual. 2
25 14 June 2014 Traktor, Minsk  Belarus 3–0 2015 FIFA World Cup Qual. 1
26 19 June 2014 Arena Lviv, Lviv  Ukraine 2–1 2015 FIFA World Cup Qual. 1

Great Britain Olympic[edit]

In June 2012 Aluko was named in the 18–player Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Eluko 2010 bos.jpg

While playing for England during Women's Euro 2005, Aluko took her A levels at Cadbury College, Birmingham.[37] She subsequently went to study Law at Brunel University, where she graduated with a First class degree in 2008.[38] In July 2009 it was announced that Aluko would spend the 2009–10 US off-season studying for the New York bar exam before taking a similar exam in England, her aim being to have an entertainment law practice in both England and the United States.[1]

Her younger brother Sone plays for Hull City and was an England youth international, but in May 2009 accepted a call-up to represent Nigeria.[39] Her father is a former MP in Nigeria,[2] while Bolaji Aluko, a chemical engineering professor, is her uncle.[40]

As of November 2010, Eniola is an active contributor on Yin & Yang, a popular culture website.[41]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Birmingham

  • FA Women's Young Player of the Year
    • Winner (1): 2003

Charlton

Saint Louis Athletica

Country[edit]

England

Great Britain

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Athletica's Aluko prepares for life as an attorney". STL Today. 22 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "Eniola will not fly". BBC Sport. 14 May 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "ENIOLA IS THE TOP YOUNG GUN". Women's Soccer Scene. 3 June 2003. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  4. ^ Emma Stoney (19 June 2003). "Big year for Bignot". Givemefootball.com. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  5. ^ Tom Wells (3 October 2004). "THE NEW ROONEY; (And she's a schoolgirl from Birmingham)". Sunday Mercury. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  6. ^ Matthew Cook (7 April 2002). "Birmingham City 1–7 Fulham". TheFA.com. Retrieved 30 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Emma Stoney (24 February 2003). "Football: Birmingham find their own 'Roonaldo' WOMEN'S FOOTBALL". The Birmingham Post. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  8. ^ "Charlton sign Aluko". Fair Game. 2 January 2004. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  9. ^ "Charlton lift FA Women's Cup". Fair Game. 2 May 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  10. ^ "Charlton women devastated". Fair Game. 24 June 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  11. ^ "Chelsea sign Stoney & Aluko". Fair Game. 6 July 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  12. ^ "Beat agrees to terms with Solo, Ellertson, and Aluko". Women's Professional Soccer. 6 January 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Atlanta Beat, Sky Blue FC complete blockbuster trade". Women's Professional Soccer. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "England's Kelly Smith devastated by US league cancellation". BBC Sport. 31 January 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  15. ^ "Chelsea Ladies re-sign Eniola Aluko from Birmingham City". BBC Sport. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 6 December 2012. 
  16. ^ Farayi Mungazi (14 May 2005). "Eniola will not fly". BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  17. ^ "Gunners shoot six". BBC Sport. 1 September 2002. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  18. ^ "Marley confirms England squad". BBC Sport. 9 July 2003. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  19. ^ Tony Leighton (20 September 2004). "Holland 1–2 England". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  20. ^ "England 4–1 Czech Republic". BBC Sport. 27 May 2005. Retrieved 1 January 2011. 
  21. ^ "England Women ease to biggest win". BBC. 27 October 2005. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  22. ^ Pete Oliver (4 June 2005). "Educated Aluko holds Euro dream". BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  23. ^ "Denmark v England as it happened". BBC. 8 June 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  24. ^ "Aluko hoping for positive effect". BBC. 12 June 2005. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  25. ^ "Eniola Aluko". FIFA.com. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  26. ^ Jacqui Oatley (15 November 2007). "England women angry at £40 wage". BBC. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  27. ^ "England women 3–2 Russia women". BBC. 28 August 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  28. ^ "Finland women 2–3 England women". BBC. 3 September 2009. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  29. ^ "England Ladies 2–1 Holland Ladies". BBC Sport. 6 September 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2009. 
  30. ^ Mark Ashenden (12 September 2009). "England 2–6 Germany". BBC Sport. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  31. ^ "Swiss Women 2–3 England Women". BBC Sport. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  32. ^ Nigel Adderley (30 June 2011). "England striker Eniola Aluko affected by Twitter abuse". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  33. ^ Tom Rostance (1 July 2011). "Women's World Cup: New Zealand 1–2 England". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  34. ^ Jonathan Stevenson (5 July 2011). "Women's World Cup: England 2–0 Japan". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  35. ^ Chris Bevan (9 July 2011). "Women's World Cup: England 1–1 France (France win 4–3 on pens)". BBC Sport. Retrieved 10 July 2011. 
  36. ^ "Team GB women's squad for London 2012 announced". BBC Sport. 26 June 2012. Retrieved 26 June 2012. 
  37. ^ "Educated Aluko holds Euro dream". BBC Sport. 4 June 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  38. ^ "England squad for Germany friendly". Fair Game. 14 July 2008. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  39. ^ "Kelvin Etuhu opts for Nigeria". BBC Sport. 26 May 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  40. ^ Tunde Adekeye (23 July 2008). "Eniola Aluko: Goal Poacher And Brilliant Lawyer". Nigerian Muse. Retrieved 22 April 2011. 
  41. ^ "Yin & Yang – The Family". Yin & Yang. 1 January 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2011. 

External links[edit]