Eni Aluko’s appointment shows NWSL strength after difficult year

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New Angel City FC Sporting Director Eniola Aluko has admitted that the idea of ​​being able to build a team entirely from scratch was part of her decision to step down as Sporting Director on the Aston Villa women’s team.

Speaking on a conference call Thursday when his appointment was confirmed, Aluko spoke about the difficulties of implementing institutional change at a more established club, with long-standing history and habits, and called the opportunity offered to him in Los Angeles as “an honor”.

Aluko is one of the figures in women’s soccer heading to the United States this summer, with Ebony Salmon joining Racing Louisville and Casey Stoney is rumored to be heading to San Diego to establish a Southern California rivalry with the ACFC of Aluko.

Eniola Aluko
Angel City will join the NWSL in 2022 | Angel City FC

That, combined with the departure of American players from the WSL after just one season, and in Alex Morgan’s case, not even that, seems to represent a reiteration of the NWSL’s status as the world center of national women’s soccer, after a year of turbulence that saw several players moving to England to find regular football during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aluko didn’t dwell too long on that fledgling league rivalry, but he did talk about the inherent differences between young NWSL clubs, who are often able to forge their own paths without an impending weight of tradition, and WSL clubs. linked to the former. (and possibly not by chance, largely dominated by the male game) soccer institutions in England.

“I don’t think many of these opportunities can really exist in football,” began the former England star, “because these are usually clubs that have been around for hundreds of years and are steeped in tradition and ‘the way things are done. ‘”. .they are always done ‘, so trying to change them and progress them can sometimes be quite difficult.

“You feel a lot of resistance because people are creatures of habit. This [Angel City job] It is truly a must-see opportunity and an honor, indeed, to have a truly blank canvas. There are no players yet, no roster, no staff yet in terms of the playing team, and I feel really honored to be able to write that first chapter and sit down and think about how that will look.

“That really challenges me, but it is also an honor, because I know that these opportunities don’t really exist in football. That is the difference between Angel City and Villa, it was not necessarily a blank canvas and the change was something that was quite difficult. to implement “. sometimes.

“In this case, the change is accepted, it is new, it is fresh, it is shaping the future. I am excited, very excited to have that opportunity and I really appreciate that opportunity.”

Angel City FC will join the NWSL in spring 2022.

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