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Her Story: Aaliyah, U13 Dragons

Aaliyah, U13 Dragons Football Story

if you enjoy the sport just play don’t stop no matter what.

I started running before I walked, and once I did that I always went for the ball and kicked it at the age of 13 months. Then I started playing football and joined a boys team at the age of 5.  I’ve always played Defence, which started RB, but now play CB.

I have so many AFC LEYTON memories, 1 of being winning the ESF TOURNAMENT and going to St George’s Park for the final.  And also scoring goals and surprising my team of what I’m capable of as it’s unexpected for a defence to score.

As a player, I am strong and powerful. Not only physically but mentally, Always switched on and have been given the nick name Tank.

What’s it like being a muslim player?

Not everyone knows that I’m a Muslim Player but when they find out that I am, they are quite shocked as some people think that Muslim girls are not permitted to compete or take part in sports.

During Ramamdan I make sure I drink more water than usual to stay hydrated and eat well during iftar but keep it healthy, as eating unhealthy just makes you tired. Also during sahoor I eat these special porridge pots my mum prepares the night before which contains porridge, chia seeds, natural yogurt mixed with strawberries and honey, this keeps you full and also energised.

My advice to any female wanting to get into football is that if you enjoy the sport just play don’t stop no matter what.