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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 May, 2005, 17:50 GMT 18:50 UK
Eniola will not fly
By Farayi Mungazi
BBC Sport

Eniola Aluko
Aluko says playing for Nigeria is not an option
Nigeria-born Eniola Aluko has ruled out playing for the Super Falcons, saying her international future lies with England instead.

The 18-year-old striker has had a fine season with Charlton Athletic in the women's Premier League in England.

She added to her ever growing reputation with the winning goal for her team in the 1-0 FA Cup final victory over Everton two weeks ago.

But the A-Level student told BBC Sport on Saturday that she has set her sights on achieving international stardom with England, rather than her native Nigeria.

She said: "I've been involved with the England set-up since I was 14, so my development as a footballer has been here in England.

"I'm a very loyal person and I feel that if someone has done something for me, or has given me the opportunity to do something, I can only do my best to reflect that.

"England has offered me the opportunity to be a footballer and I intend to play for England at international level."

One of the brightest young talents around, Eniola made her full England debut at the age of 17 and has made a rapid rise in a very short space of time.

"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."

The daughter of a politician - her father is a former MP in Nigeria - Eniola plans to study law at university.

The 2003 female Young Player of the Year also hopes to be a sports lawyer or a criminal prosecution lawyer.


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