Womens Football News Archive -2nd June 2003
ENIOLA IS THE TOP YOUNG GUN
Eniola Aluko's rapid rise continued when she won the Young Player of the Year award at the anuual Women's Football Awards. Eni was just 15 years old when her club Birmingham City gained promotion to England's top flight. She enjoyed a very successful first season in the senior squad last term after joining Blues at under-12 level from Leafield Athletic and shined in the Premier League Cup Final in 2002. She scored a goal on her National Division debut against Leeds Utd and is one of the hottest young properties in women's football, having drawn comparisons with Wayne Rooney by her manager Marcus Bignot.
This past season, Eniola has impressed in the England Youth set-up, thus earning a well-deserved call-up to the England under-19 side for their European Championship qualifying tournament in April. She hit a great goal on her debut and has been an ever present for the side since, and will be hoping she has done enough to earn a place in the squad for this summer's UEFA under-19 Championship Finals, taking place in Germany in July.
"I've had faith in my ability and just been enjoying playing," says Eniola. "Knowing that the manager and players have faith in me takes all the pressure off and I am able to play with freedom. I don't get daunted by who we are playing, the bigger the name the more I look forward to it.
"With the England under-19s it's harder competition but I enjoy these environments, and I hope that I will get picked for more internationals. I have played three games so far and found it harder than the previous level at under-17 but if I am picked for Germany I'll try to enjoy the experience."
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