Ifeoma Dieke

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Ifeoma Dieke
Ifeoma Dieke a 151 2381.jpg
Dieke with Scotland in September 2014
Personal information
Full name Ifeoma Nnenna Dieke[1]
Date of birth (1981-02-25) 25 February 1981 (age 34)
Place of birth Amherst, Massachusetts, United States
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Vittsjö GIK
Number 3
Youth career
1999–2002 FIU Golden Panthers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003 Atlanta Beat 13 (1)
2007 QBIK
2008 Kristianstads DFF
2009–2010 Chicago Red Stars 19 (0)
2010–2011 Boston Breakers 22 (1)
2011 Apollon Limassol (loan)
2012– Vittsjö GIK 23 (0)
National team
2004– Scotland 96 (0)
2012– Great Britain 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:30, 3 August 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:30, 3 August 2014 (UTC)

Ifeoma Nnenna Dieke (born 25 February 1981) is an American-born, Scottish football defender, currently playing for Vittsjö GIK of the Swedish Damallsvenskan. Since 2004, she has appeared on 90 occasions for the Scotland women's national football team. Dieke was born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to Nigerian parents, moving to Cumbernauld in Scotland when she was three years old.[2] Her first name "Ifeoma" means "Good thing" in the Igbo language.[3] Dieke and fellow Scot Kim Little were the only non-English players selected in the Great Britain squad for the 2012 London Olympics.

Career[edit]

Dieke started her football career when she was eight years old, playing for her primary school St Mary's. She later joined Cumbernauld Cosmos, from where she moved to Cumbernauld Ladies.[2] In 1999, she was awarded a scholarship by Florida International University, playing for the university's FIU Golden Panthers women's soccer team. She graduated in 2003 and joined Women's United Soccer Association side Atlanta Beat.[2] She started eight of 13 regular season games and scored one goal.[4] The league folded at the end of her first season, and Dieke later played in Sweden (for QBIK in 2007 and for Kristianstads DFF in 2008) and Cyprus.

In 2009 she joined the Chicago Red Stars.[2] In the inaugural 2009 Women's Professional Soccer season, Dieke appeared in 14 games.

During the WPS offseason in 2011, Dieke joined Cypriot club, Apollon Limassol on loan from Boston Breakers.[5] The WPS folded ahead of the 2012 season and Dieke returned to Sweden, signing for Damallsvenskan newcomers Vittsjö GIK. Despite missing almost the entire 2013 Damallsvenskan season through injury, Dieke was given a new contract by Vittsjö ahead of 2014.[6]

International career[edit]

Dieke could have chosen to represent Scotland, United States or Nigeria at international level.[7]

Dieke made her Scotland debut in January 2004 against Greece and earned her 50th cap against Northern Ireland in May 2009.[8]

In 2012 Dieke was selected for a place in the Great Britain team at the 2012 London Olympics.[9] Along with Scotland team-mate Kim Little, Dieke was one of only two non-English players in the squad.[10] She played alongside Casey Stoney in central defence, but suffered knee ligament damage in the second group match and had to withdraw from the squad.[10] Medical tests showed that she had ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament, which prevented her from playing in the rest of the UEFA Women's Euro 2013 qualifying matches.[11]

Playing style[edit]

Team GB coach Hope Powell said of Dieke: "Ife's a great defender one–v–one. She probably prefers a centre–half role but can play anywhere along the back."[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Women's Olympic Football Tournament London 2012 – List of Players Great Britain". FIFA. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d McIver, Brian (21 April 2009). "Professional footballer Ifeoma Dieke is real-life Gregory's Girl". Daily Record (Trinity Mirror). Retrieved 4 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ifeoma". Nigerian Names and meanings. Retrieved August 18, 2014. 
  4. ^ "2003 Atlanta Beat Statistics (9-4-8, 35 pts.)". USA Today. 10 August 2003. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  5. ^ "Boston Breakers Remain Active During Offseason". Women's Pro Soccer. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Jane och Ifeoma förlänger med Vittsjö" [Jane and Ifeoma extend with Vittsjö] (in Swedish). Vittsjö GIK. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "Ifeoma Dieke heading to States". thefreelibrary.com. 15 July 1999. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Ifeoma Dieke". Women's Pro Soccer. Retrieved 23 October 2011. 
  9. ^ Leighton, Tony (31 January 2012). "England's Kelly Smith devastated by US league cancellation". BBC. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Olympic football: GB's Ifeoma Dieke out of Games". BBC Sport (BBC). 29 July 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  11. ^ Campbell, Alan (2 August 2012). "Dieke to miss final qualifiers". The Herald (Herald & Times Group). Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  12. ^ "Powell: It's a privilege to be the first". FIFA. 21 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 

External links[edit]