September 25, 2021

Ini Umotong: Nigeria striker joins Uganda’s Violah Nambi at Vaxjo

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The Nigerian star has completed her transfer to the Swedish side after passing her medical and agreeing on terms

Swedish Damallsvenskan club Vaxjo have secured the services of Nigeria striker Ini Umotong on an 18-month deal.

The Nigeria international becomes the latest addition to Magnus Olsson’s team after parting ways with English side Brighton in June.

Umotong decided against extending her stay with the Seagulls following the cancellation of the English Women’s Super League season on May 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 26-year-old joined Brighton in 2017 after being spotted at Oxford, where she emerged the WSL 2 top scorer, scoring 13 goals in 19 outings and went on to net four times in seven games in 2016.

At the Seagulls, she helped the team escape relegation in the 2018-19 season despite featuring as a substitute regularly before agreeing to a one-year extension which expired this summer.

During her three-year spell, the Super Falcons scored 19 goals in 59 games for Brighton, including the winner that sealed their 2020 FA Cup quarter-final berth for the first time since 1994.

Umotong made her international debut for Nigeria against Mali in an African Games qualifier in 2015, was part of the squad to the 2015 Women’s World Cup but narrowly missed the party to France.

“The Nigerian national team striker comes to Vaxjo DFF to strengthen the offensive,” the Swedish website announced on Friday. “So far, there have only been four goals ahead for the Smalanders in the Damallsvenskan.

“Previously, Umotong has played for Portsmouth, Oxford United and Brighton Hove and Albion. The contract with Vaxjo DFF extends over the 2021 season.”

Following her unveiling, the Nigeria international will be the second African at Vaxjo as she teams up with Swedish-born Ugandan midfielder Violah Nambi, who joined the club last summer.

She becomes the seventh Nigerian woman in the Swedish top flight, after Pitea’s Faith Micheal, Eskilstuna United duo Ngozi Okobi and Halimatu Ayinde, and Linkopings trio Ebere Orji, Uchenna Kanu, and Chinaza Uchendu.

Having excelled in England, she will aim to bring her form and scoring ability to help Olsson’s side in the quest to avoid relegation, after they finished 11th with five points from seven games.

She could make her Damallsvenskan debut at home against Djurgarden, who also have South Africa‘s Linda Motlhalo and Ghana‘s Portia Boakye on their books, on August 2.