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Inspirational Easah

U19 Euros winner Easah Suliman hopes he can be a trailblazer for British Muslims

Monday 17 Jul 2017

UEFA European Under-19 Championship final goalscorer Easah Suliman hopes his moment in the spotlight has proven to fellow British Muslims they too can achieve success at the very top.

The Aston Villa defender has been a perennial figure in Young Lions squads since making his debut for the U16s against Wales in November 2012, but on Saturday he experienced what it was like to score for his country for the first time.

Though an own goal from Dujon Sterling drew Portugal level, Lukas Nmecha fired what proved to be England’s winner.

I told my dad I would score in this tournament, but I didn't think I would leave it this late.
- Easah Suliman, England U19s defender

With the referee’s whistle pursed to his lips waiting for Aaron Ramsdale to take a goal kick before bringing the final to an end, Suliman was already celebrating – this has been a long-time coming for the 19-year-old from Moseley.

And Suliman is proud to be the flag bearer for British Muslims in England’s multi-cultural squad.

“I’m very proud to be Muslim, I’m so proud of my culture and religion,” said Suliman, who enjoyed a loan spell with League Two side Cheltenham Town last term.

“Throughout the team we’ve got people from all sorts of cultures and backgrounds, it’s brilliant.

“For me, I just want to be regarded as a good player by my coaches and team-mates and if that helps with the Asian community – I’ve had a lot of messages since we won from the Asian community back home – it’s encouraging and something that will spur me on to achieve more.

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“My message to any other young British Muslims is you’ve just got to get out there, it’s the same for everyone. With my success at the Euros it shows that it is possible.”

Suliman is not alone in his journey through the England age-group teams, having had winger Marcus Edwards and U19s skipper Jay Dasilva for company.

He is in no doubt their night in Georgia will stick with him forever.

“To bring the trophy home is surreal,” he added.

“For me, Jay and Marcus who have been with the set-up a long time, those experiences have helped us but this is our greatest achievement yet.

“This is the first thing I’ve ever won, so it’s definitely the career highlight for me.

“I told my dad I would score in this tournament, but I didn’t think I would leave it this late!

“I’ve been with England for a while now and to get that goal at such an important time is just something that will stay with me.”

By Andy Walker Senior Communications Manager