Two of England’s brightest female stars, Eniola Aluko and Toni Duggan, face each other this weekend in the Women’s Super League as Chelsea take on Everton. We thought it was the perfect time then to get the two girls together to preview the game and talk about previous games.
We knew that with Eni and Toni being friends, we’d get some
interesting answers, but we didn’t expect the full extent of what we’d end up
with. Not only did the girls talk about their last meeting on the pitch (where Toni
scored a hat-trick for Everton in a 4-1 win), they also found time for a quick
crossbar challenge before Toni turned interviewer and got the lowdown on Eni’s
career in football. The video that you can see here captures all of this,
alongside a lot of laughing and general messing around!
For anyone who can’t see the video, or who can’t understand Toni’s Liverpudlian accent, we’ve transcribed the video for you below. Hope you enjoy it, thanks again to both Toni and Eni for taking part!
TD: 'Coming up in the next week you’re playing Everton, who have beaten you twice, shows that they’ve got a winning mentality, how are you going to go into that game?'
EA: 'I’m not telling you! Maybe we can do this again, after the game…'
TD: 'Let’s preview the Everton game, how did you get on in your last meeting with them'
EA: 'I’m alright with it now…I’ve come to terms with it and moved on…'
TD: 'Who scored the goals, if you don’t mind me asking….'
EA: 'I can’t remember her name, one was scored by Michelle Hinnigan, I don’t remember the name of the other one…'
TD: (To Camera): 'Hat-trick by me!'
EA: 'No, you were brilliant in that game, you destroyed us to be fair…'
TD: 'Wow, I’m flattered!'
EA: 'Hopefully we’ve learned from our mistakes, and we can get tight on you and not let you turn…'
EA: 'Crossbar challenge, three balls each, whoever loses buys dinner…'
TD: 'It’s on, lets go kid!'
TD: 'So Eni, when people ask you to describe yourself as a player, what do you say?'
EA: 'I think I’d describe myself as being really direct, I like to just go for goal, or to put other people through on goal. I think I’ve got good vision, a lot of people think I’m just a fast player but I take a lot of pride in keeping the ball.'
TD: 'I didn’t want an essay! I usually struggle to answer that question, maybe I should take notes next time'
TD: 'What was it like growing up with a footballing brother?'
EA: 'I see him as my brother first and a professional footballer second, I grew up playing football with him in the streets, and I think we’ve both got natural talent, something we were born with, and luckily we’ve been able to take it on and make a job of it. I’m so proud of him though, watching him last week at Chelsea, it’s just been amazing.'
TD: 'It must have been a great day for your mum – how did she balance having two football playing kids?'
EA: 'My mum just took us everywhere, we used to play tennis as well, so she’d take us up and down the country playing tennis. My brother was really good at that, I was alright…'
TD: 'Maybe I should call you Serena Williams now!'
EA: 'And then she’d take us to games, I’d play on a Saturday, we used to have McDonalds on the way, nuggets!'
TD: 'A talented family then! You’ve got another talent as well – tell us what you work as outside of football?'
EA: 'I work as a trainee solitor, I studied law for three years at Brunel in London. I always knew that I wanted to go into sports law and combine it with football. I’m working at an entertainment law firm called Leigh & Thompson, we represent celebrities, artists, musicians…'
TD: 'Namedropping now….'
EA: 'I didn’t mention anyone’s names….. Beckham….. One Direction….!'
TD: 'OK, so stop now! On that note, would you say that you’re the brainiest in the league? Because some of these big words you use…'
EA: 'I’m going to put this to bed now, as whenever anyone comes on interviews, all the England players, my name always comes up as the ditsiest player…'
TD: 'No, you are a dope, but obviously you are clever if you’ve got all these qualifications…'
EA: 'I think I am clever when it’s something that I’m passionate about like law, but when it comes to things I don’t know about I can be a bit…'
TD: 'Just everyday life then, you’re just not with it…'
EA: 'Yeah, exactly'
TD: 'So, on women’s football do you get a chance to much of the men’s team, or is it kind of ladies over here and men over there?'
EA: 'It can be at times, it can be very separate, and I do wonder at times what they think we’re going to do, whether we’re going to eat the men or something! But you do photoshoots, you meet the guys, and they’re actually really supportive. I think they look at us a bit like sisters, and we’re doing the same thing.
We get to meet them sometimes, but they train in the day and we train at night.'
TD: 'I’m going to put you on the spot now, if you had the opportunity to bring the ladies and the men’s side of the game together, what would be your ideas?'
EA: 'I think women’s football needs to tap into the feminine side of it, to really tap into the beauty of many of the players, but also the fact that we’re strong women, athletes, but beautiful as well.'
TD: 'So you want a make up artist to do your make-up before a game?'
EA: 'No, that’s not what I’m saying! But you see it in the men’s game – you see Beckham, you see Lampard, you see Rooney…well, maybe not Rooney. You see Ashley Cole, doing photoshoots because they’re good looking guys. So there could maybe be more of that, like a Chelsea shoot where you have some of the guys and some of the girls.'
TD: 'So you think you’d be in that category, you’re the Beckham or the Ashley Cole of women’s football?'
EA: 'I think I’d be up there! What are you trying to say, trying to get me to say whether I’m ugly?!'
TD: 'No comment, I think we’ll move on…So women’s football has grown massively now and you played a big part of that in the Olympics. What was that experience like?'
EA: 'The Olympics were amazing, probably the greatest thing I’ve ever been part of, because it was bigger than football. I think sometimes as footballers, we can get locked into this bubble, but at the Olympics we were with top athletes like Mo Farrah, Jessica Ennis, Anthony Joshua, these people who have worked so hard to get to their level as well.
It was just an amazing experience, and playing in front of 70,000 people at Wembley was just crazy – mad!'
TD: 'You’ve also had an interesting opportunity playing in America – how did that go and what did you learn that the English game could maybe take on board?'
EA: 'In America, I went as an international player, and you could only have five in your team, so you were the best of a big bunch of people. So for me just to be picked, to be drafted as they call it, was amazing. But you’re also amongst the best players, so you have to raise your game otherwise you won’t get to play. So that made me a stronger character, I started a few games but didn’t score so I sat on the bench for a bit, the coach couldn’t speak English so he couldn’t communicate with me, I just had to figure it out basically, and that made me the player I am today. And now I’m back in England, I know that America made me the winner I am.'
EA: 'I’m going to put you on the spot now, can you tell us the story of how you got the blue tick on Twitter? And you have to be honest!'
TD: 'So, you know Siobhan Chamberlain, our England team-mate? See was supposed to be sorting this blue tick out for me, I’m not going to lie, I wanted it!'
EA: 'Why did you want the blue tick?'
TD: 'Because everyone who went to the Olympics had one, and I felt left out! So that happened but my blue tick wasn’t there, I was waking up every day and checking. So I popped a little email over to my mate Chris Doolan at Umbro and asked him to sort my verification on Twitter.'
EA: 'So my question is, now that you have your blue Twitter tick, is your life complete? Has it made a difference?'
TD: 'I wouldn’t say it’s made my life complete, but I’m very honoured to be verified!'
EA: 'I’m honoured too. We can be blue tick mates.'
TD: 'To finish, have you got another interesting fact about myself that you can tell us?'
EA: 'An interesting fact….. wow….this is a hard question….'
TD: 'Shortest answer yet….'
EA: 'I cook a lot… Can I answer that again?'
TD: 'No, it’s done now!'
EA: 'No, interesting fact about myself, I’ve travelled to a lot of places in the world.'
TD: 'Right, so I’m trying not to laugh here but Eni’s interesting fact is that she’s travelled to a lot of places in the world. I hope you really enjoyed our chat today and got to find out a lot of interesting things about Eni. Bye for now'