Barclays Ladies’s Championship: Birmingham Metropolis identify 16-year-old Layla Banaras in squad to play league leaders Bristol Metropolis | Soccer Information

Birmingham Metropolis Ladies’s starlet Layla Banaras has been named within the squad for the journey to play league leaders Bristol Metropolis, aged simply 16.

Banaras scored the one aim of the sport in a 1-0 win for the Improvement Squad towards Liverpool on the finish of final month and has been coaching commonly with the first-team squad this season.

She was handed the quantity 42 shirt for the match at Bristol Metropolis, performed on the membership’s foremost Ashton Gate stadium.

Robust-tackling Banaras, whose mom is English and whose father is Pakistani, is a former Oasis Academy Hobmoor pupil – and began out enjoying soccer at Solihull Moors FC earlier than becoming a member of Birmingham Metropolis on the age of eight.

Banaras, who can play throughout defence and midfield, captained Birmingham’s U16 academy crew final season earlier than stepping as much as signify the membership’s improvement facet on various events.

The versatile wing-back performed the total 90 minutes because the youngest participant on the pitch – aged simply 16 years and 25 days – in final season’s FA WSL U21 Academy Cup last towards Manchester United at St George’s Park, rising the clamour for her to earn an England youth call-up.

Banaras was described as an outstanding youngster by former Blues manager Carla Ward, and earned plaudits final yr after producing a diet information and meal planner to better prepare Muslim athletes for fasting during Ramadan.

{The teenager}, who has beforehand mentioned she hopes to encourage different younger Muslim ladies to take up soccer, started creating a wholesome consuming programme for gamers when they’re fasting after discovering little or no steerage for gamers coaching by way of Holy Month of Ramadan.

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Sky Sports activities Information helped Birmingham Metropolis trailblazer Layla Banaras launch her devoted diet plan and meal planner for Ramadan

Banaras was cheered on by family and friends and team-mates previous and current when she participated within the Queen’s Baton Relay earlier this year prior to the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The 16-year-old additionally featured in Birmingham City’s kit launch forward of the season, showing alongside males’s first-team academy graduate Brandon Khela as Blues embraced their wealthy cultural variety to advertise their new strip.

Sikh-Punjabi midfielder Khela penned senior terms at St Andrew’s earlier this summer, changing into the primary British South Asian to signal knowledgeable take care of Birmingham Metropolis.

Official Birmingham Metropolis supporters’ group Blues 4 All have since taken the uncommon step of sponsoring Khela after being impressed by fellow supporters’ membership the Punjabi Rams – who Sky Sports News revealed were extending their sponsorship of Derby County Women’s winger Kira Rai for a fifth season.

Bik (L) and Micky Singh Blues 4 All (credit: Roy Smiljanic)
Blues 4 All chair Micky Singh (proper) and son Bik (credit score: Roy Smiljanic)

Talking completely to Sky Sports activities Information final month, Blues 4 All chair Micky Singh mentioned: “I’ve supported Blues for over 60 years and have waited a really very long time to see a Punjabi child come up by way of the ranks right here at Birmingham Metropolis Soccer Membership.

“Brandon is a participant with a lot of potential and is only one of some kids from South Asian backgrounds attempting to interrupt by way of.

“That is an enormous credit score to Blues, who’re supporting expertise regardless of the painfully sluggish response from soccer to sort out South Asian under-representation within the males’s and ladies’s skilled sport.”

British South Asians in Football

For extra tales, options and movies, go to our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on and South Asians within the Recreation weblog and keep tuned to Sky Sports activities Information and our Sky Sports activities digital.

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