Newly signed Nigerian forward, Ijeoma Esther Okoronkwo is instantly making wave in her new club Saint Étienne, France.
The 24-year-old Abia born was nominated for player of the month in the Divison one Arkema league for the month of September. She scored a first half brace in Saint Étienne’s win against Dijon in the round four fixtures.
Reacting to her brace against Dijon, Saint Étienne’s coach, Jérôme Bonnet : “We saw what she did in Dijon. She showed us what she is capable of with two goals, only she could do it, by her speed and her composure. She’s very calm in front of the goal and this is good.”
Being her first professional contract, Esther is settling and adapting well to the pressure of playing top flight football.
“It’s been like a rollercoaster, I’m excited for this opportunity. I’m taking French classes, twice a week. I love the weather, the players and coaching crew.” Esther said to OJBSPORT.
Jérôme Bonnet believes the former Northheast Texas Eagles and Lamar Lady Cardinals is not finding it difficult to settling down well into her new team and is adapting to the new environment.
“She discovered the French championship, she also discovered the very high level, Esther remains a good player. But we still have to help her understand better how we want to make use of her talent, how we want to play with her. We are lucky because we have players around to also help improve her as well.”
“There are still efforts to be made, learning the language, understanding the instructions and from there, we will be able, I think, to take a step forward with her. It was important in any case to have this kind of profile that we didn’t quite have at the moment.”
Okoronkwo played for Nigeria in mid-June during the WNT Summer Series, which featured games against Jamaica, Portugal and the United States. Okoronkwo appeared in all three of those games. Making her debut in the 0-1 defeat to Jamaica.