England U17s striker Dominic Solanke dreams to dance again

Wednesday 21 May 2014
Joe Gomez, Tafari Moore, Josh Onomah and Dominic Solanke show off their moves
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England Under-17 striker Dominic Solanke hopes he will be dancing with delight on Wednesday evening after doing what he “loves to do” – scoring.

Solanke has scored three goals at the European Championship in Malta, including the opener in the 2-0 semi-final win over Portugal, and he is hoping to add more to his record in the final against Holland.

And should he help fire his country to success, it will be the second piece of silverware for the 16-year-old in a matter of weeks after his goals fired Chelsea to FA Youth Cup glory over Fulham.

England v Holland

UEFA European U17 Championship
The Final
6pm, Wednesday 21 May 2014
Ta’Qali National Stadium, Malta
Live on Eurosport

Speaking ahead of Wednesday evening’s showdown with the Dutch, Solanke told TheFA.com: “Winning the Youth Cup was a massive boost before meeting up with the squad, and I’ve tried to carry that form through into the Euros and I’ve managed to get a couple of goals.

“We had a slow start against Portugal – but we came out fighting in the second-half and ready. I was so happy to get the first goal.

“It was a great ball by Taylor Moore and I took it well and I did what I love doing – putting the ball in the back of the net.”

Solanke was joined by team-mates Joe Gomez, Josh Onomah and Tafari Moore in a dancing celebration – something he hopes to repeat this evening.

“The celebration was just a bit of fun. We’d been practising that dance for a couple of days before. 

“Hopefully we’ll be dancing again after the final.”

Solanke’s goals have helped fire England to the verge of glory – and he says the bond between the squad is ready to take them all the way.

“I just did what I love doing – putting the ball in the back of the net”

Dominic Solanke 

 

“We are really focused,” he said. “Since we came here our aim was to get to the final and we have achieved it. Now we want to go the next step and win it. It’s the last game of the season for everyone – we have to put it all in.

“The qualifiers in Armenia were a long, long time ago now. Since then, we have all gelled together in the tournaments and friendlies that we have played, and the whole squad has been performing great for their clubs. 

“Since them first qualifiers we have all developed really well and we are ready now for this moment.”

Solanke scored the winner against Italy in the final Elite Round qualifier to sealed their place in Malta – a moment that left the humble youngster proud and believing he and his team-mates could go all the way.

“It was a massive game against Italy. We needed to come through it to qualify – so getting the winner was one of my proudest achievements. 

“I believed we could reach this stage all along, but getting through the Elite Round and beating Italy, who are a top nation, really gave me and the team the belief that we could go beat anyone.

“Now we have to prove that tonight.”

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer in Malta