Gabrielle Aboudi Onguéné: From Men’s To Women’s Football
Her defining moment came in 2015 when she joined Russian club side, WFC Rossiyanka.
Gabrielle Aboudi Onguéné, 27, is today one of the most experienced members of the Cameroon National Women’s Football Team, the Indomitable Lionesses. Beginning by playing with boys in a Douala neighbourhood club, Ngondi Nkam of Yabassi, she was later spotted by a certain Ibrahim, who invited her to play with girls.
“To my mind, it was normal for girls to play football with boys, not with other girls. But when I began playing with girls, I found it quite easy. I realised that I was talented and then took greater interest in training sessions. When I turned up for late Ibrahim’s invitation, I was surprised to see girls learning and exercising,” recalls the lady. “This was surprising because back in my neighbourhood, no one ever told me what to do on the field! Football to me was about going to the pitch, putting on boots and off, you started playing! After a week of training with the girls, I ran away,” explained Gabrielle Aboudi.
Not to be daunted, Ibrahim went in search of the young girl and in 2003 invited her to a female tournament in Yaounde. This was a dream opportunity as Onguéné was spotted by Canon Yaounde officials who later signed her on. After barely a year in the club, she was called to the Women’s National Football Team. Then began a rich football career, which later took Aboudi in 2006 to the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family football team, Louves MINPROFF, Yaounde. She won several titles with the club. Gabrielle Aboudi Onguéné’s defining moment came in 2015 when she went professional, joining top flight Russian club side, WFC Rossiyanka of Khimki.
Today, Gabrielle Aboudi Onguéné is one of the pillars of the Indomitable Lionesses. She boasts at least 53 call-ups, 15 goals and was amongst three players nominated for the Glo-CAF Awards in 2015. The attacker made the Cameroonian team that was fourth in the Africa Football Cup of Nations, AFCON tournament in 2010, third in 2012 and second in 2014. She was also part of the Cameroonian side that took part in the 2015 World Cup in Canada and the 2012 London Olympic Games, the country’s first ever.