England and Charlton striker Eniola Aluko gives her views on another busy season ahead .
England and Charlton striker Eniola Aluko yesterday reflected on her non-stop last twelve months, and today she gives her views on the new season ahead.
The new club season kicked off with the FA Women's Community Shield defeat to Arsenal. Is that any real indicator for the season ahead?
Both teams had players out but when you lose 4-0 to your nearest rivals you can’t be happy. Our pre-season was a little ‘bitty’ and we’ve had a lot of new players come in, so perhaps having our first game league postponed against Birmingham City may work to our advantage, giving us an extra week to prepare together.
Having said that, until the penalty was awarded, there wasn’t much between the two sides, and then when Pauline [Cope] saved the penalty, but the rebound fell kindly, a few of the players felt a little hard done by.
We’ll be working hard to ensure that heads don’t go down though if that happens again, and I know we’ll be pushing Arsenal all the way again this season.
After such a hectic last twelve months, what does the year ahead hold for Eniola Aluko?
Last year, the demands on me were huge, as I was preparing for my exams, and also for some of the biggest football matches of my life so far.
Long-term I’m keen to pursue a career in Law, and I see myself going to Uni, but I think the next year will be one where I take a bit of time out, get some experience of different working environments, and also try and get some rest!
After playing in front of over 25,000 people twice during the Euros, I want to be involved in spearheading England’s World Cup qualification challenge, and at club level, we want to be challenging for all the major trophies.
If we could win the league, it means that the club would also qualify for the UEFA Women’s Cup, which would be another major career milestone.
Finally, with Amanda Barr returning to Charlton, and you two sharing the striking duties for England, how do you see the season panning out?
I’m still only 18 so I don’t take anything for granted, but I’ll be working hard to try and ensure that both Keith Boanas and Hope Powell select me, if I’m doing the business on the pitch.
During the Euro’s, Hope tended to alternate the two of us, but who knows, if we gell together at club level, perhaps we can provide another option for England, but I’ll leave team selection to the managers!
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