My ARS Award Has Changed My Mother’s Mind about Football - Golden Boot Winner, Juliet Imoh
Lagos, Nigeria; August 3, 2014: Winner of the highest goal scorer award in the female category of the just concluded Airtel Rising Stars (ARS) U-17 National Championship, Juliet Imoh has revealed how the award has changed her mother's position on her decision to pursue a career in football.
Being the only child of her single-parent mother, Juliet had found it difficult getting her mother's full support for a career in football. All that however changed when she beat 70 other players to the highest goal scorer award in the female category of the ARS season 4 concluded at the weekend at the Yabatech Sports Complex, Akoka, Lagos.
“I am happy, very happy that I won the award because my mother now believes I can do well in football. I have been playing street football in my area, but the tournament has brought me to a bigger stage. I am the only child of my mother and so she did not want me to play football, but I think this award has changed her mind because she is happy for me,” said16 year old Juliet.
The gangling forward who appears to be modelling her game after ex-Super Falcons striker, Mercy Akide-Udoh, won the golden boot with three goals and four assists.
Imoh's quest for the award had come under serious threat from Chidera Ofor of Enugu zone who was on two goals with a third place match in hand against Ilorin. She however failed to add to that figure with the game ending goalless.
Imoh opened her tournament goals account with a lone strike in the 2-0 victory over Abuja. She then bagged a brace in the 2-0 defeat of their Lagos counterparts in the last match of the round robin stage. Chidera Ofor scored a goal each in the matches between Enugu and Lagos and Enugu against Abuja.
A total of 40 goals were scored in 23 matches after during the four days tournament which was won by Ilorin for the male category and Port Harcourt in the female category. This amounts to an average of 1.74 % goal per match.
In the male category, it was a close fight between eventual winner Aliyu Yau-Adamu of Abuja zone and Mohammed Baba representing Ilorin zone as both were tied on two goals apiece.
Aliyu however, won the award with one assist to his credit. He had scored a brace in his side's 2-1 defeat of Enugu on day two of the Championship while Mohammed Baba on the other hand helped himself to a goal in his side's 3-1 demolition of Port Harcourt before scoring the solitary goal in the victory over Enugu.
The two golden boot winners will join four other tournament outstanding players to represent Nigeria at an exclusive Football Clinic with EUFA certified coaches from the Arsenal Youth System at a later date to be announced by tournament organisers.
GOLDEN GIRL--JULIET IMOH RECEIVING HER ARS GOLDEN BOOT AWARD FROM CHIOMA AJUNWA-OPARAH WHILE GARBA LAWAL LOOKS ON.
JULIET IMOH RECEIVING INSTRUCTION FROM COACH NDUBUISI IHEJIRIKA DURING THE ARS 4 FINAL MATCH AGAINST LAGOS