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28 October 2014

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Junior Football

Aman Dosanj
Aman Dosanj

Aman Leads the Way

She's the first Asian to have played for England and sees no reason why more can't follow her footsteps. We caught up with Southampton local Aman Dosanj to talk about football, the FA and the future for British Asians in the national game.

Aman Dosanj reckons that pulling on an England shirt is the best feeling in the world. The first British Asian to represent the English national team - male or female - Dosanj is hoping she'll be the first of many.

"If you look at Football - no matter what language you speak, no matter what colour you are, what religion you have or what nationality you are - when you come onto a football pitch everything gets wiped out", said Aman. "Everyone can play together - it just unites people.

According to Aman, the number of Asians playing at the top of the professional men's game - only squad players Michael Chopra at Newcastle and Zesh Rehman at Fulham - bears no relation to the enthusiasm for the game within the various Asian communities. 

"I'm hoping that in the future more and more Asians will go to football matches and more and more Asians will be playing football - because I know that there are 1000's upon 1000's of Asian kids that are playing."

Aman Dosanj
Aman played for Arsenal Ladies

"I've had so many ups and so many downs but I wouldn't replace anything that I've experienced - it's just an amazing feeling putting the England shirt on and going out there for the first time - just playing for England is amazing!", said Aman.

Aman's success with the national team was in part thanks to a football mad older brother. "My brother always used to play and when he had no-one to play with he used to take me out into the garden, stick me in goal and fire shots at me." said Aman

From the back garden, Aman started to hone her skills with her school team and later with Southampton Saints and most recently with Arsenal Ladies.

Aman is now employed on a part-time basis by the FA, acting as an Ambassador for the "Football for All" project as well as contributing to the anti-racism "Kick It Out" campaign - promoting the game to Asian communities.

"I think football clubs  need to embrace the Asian community", Aman continued. "If you look at football you've still got the stigma attached to it of the yob culture and racism.

"Football clubs need to get the Asian community first involved in football in some way - just get them into the stadium to create a good feeling toward the club - to make it their football club."

last updated: 13/10/05
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