PAMPORE: Aneek Ameen is a classic example of a player who keeps playing favourite sport despite all the odds. His problems at home could well have forced many an upcoming player to abandon sport to address family issues. Aneek’s father had a fall from second storey of his house which left him injured badly which meant his young son had to take care of the family.
Passion for football, however, didn’t dim and Aneek managed to strike balance between family needs and practicing the sport he dearly loves.
The 18-year old from Frestabal Pampore defeated all the handicaps to emerge as the leading footballer in the town. He marched along with one milestone after another before becoming the first player from the town to make it to the side set to play in I-League, a premier fixture in Indian domestic circuit.
His father, Aneek says, took him to the local football ground at a young age which attracted them towards the sport first up.
“My happiness knew no bounds when my father brought a pair of footballers’ shoes and I started to play with a local team- Itehaad Football Club . From Itehaad FC my professional career started and from there I went to play in Srinagar. My play impressed one and all and I was selected for State Football Academy which is going to play in the I-League,” Aneek said.
2016 unrest like many Kashmir’s had some bitter experiences in store for Aneek and his family. His father was injured in Kashmir unrest 2016, as he fell from roof to save himself from getting hit by a teargas shell.
“There was teargas shelling in our area and my father was watching the same on the roof and abruptly he fell down after a tear smoke shell was fired near the house,” Aneek said, adding that from then he had to take the responsibility of managing domestic expenses on his shoulders.
“I cleared my 12th class and now I work as a labourer and manage a tight schedule of practice and work,” he said.
He said that for three days he works as a plumber and rest of the week he has to practice for the forthcoming games.
He desires to don Indian uniform in the future and to achieve that he is working hard with his academy coach Mehraj-Ud Din Wadoo- a star Indian player himself.
Amir, a friend and his teammate in the local team told Kashmir Reader that Aneek has got talent and he would bring laurels to the town.
“It is the mental balance and physical endurance of Aneek that has led him to reach this stage,” he said, adding that his struggle has paid and he would flourish in the days to come as well.
Fallah Behbood Committee Pampore organiser Mir Murwat Hussain told Kashmir Reader that a prominent businessman Ashiq Hussain Bandey,, has assured that he would be providing kits to the local players and those who would perform better in national and international events would be sponsored by him.
“Ashiq who is the owner of Rehmat Spices has promised that he would be providing kits and sponsorship to the players through Fallah Behbood Committee as the local body of Pampore would perform as an implementing agency in the town,” said
Murwat Hussain, adding that it would also help players like Aneek to focus on the game as they would be making enough money through the game only and such players should not have to labour to support their families.