Aston Villa Women names Nigerian-British Eniola Aluko first sporting director
Former England striker Eniola Aluko has been appointed Aston Villa Women’s sporting director.
The Nigerian born player, who is the first person ever to be given the position, announced her retirement from football last week Wednesday, January 15, 2020 after leaving Juventus in December.
The 32-year-old had won caps for her country and had recently completed UEFA’s Executive Master for International Players. She has also been preparing for a second career as a director of football.
“I’m very excited to transition into a Sporting Director role,” said Aluko.
“I feel it’s something that I’m ready for at this point in my career. I’ve always been passionate about the women’s game, its development and setting cultures that drive excellence.
“I’ll be helping to create a successful club in Aston Villa Women, and obviously I’m back home in Birmingham where it all started for me. I’m excited for this next step.”
I am delighted to announce my new role as sporting director of @AVWFCOfficial The clubs commitment, investment & ambition towards building a leading womens program of excellence is exciting and I am proud of this opportunity to lead within the historic Villa family. pic.twitter.com/D3pFTQVU60
— Eniola Aluko (@EniAlu) January 22, 2020
Aston Villa CEO, Christian Purslow added: “Eniola enjoyed a fabulous playing career and took her first steps in the game in this city, the city where she grew up.
“She is an inspiration and inspiring role model to young girls and women in Birmingham and will help Aston Villa to be an exemplar of women’s and girl’s football in the region.”
Aluko competed in three World Cups, two Euros and represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics, scoring 33 goals in total before her last international appearance in April 2016.
The forward came through the ranks at Birmingham and Charlton before making her name at Chelsea.
Aluko played in the USA for three years before returning to Birmingham, and then Chelsea for seven years, ending her career playing for Juventus.