‘My hard work has paid off and this is not the end’

‘My hard work has paid off and this is not the end’
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Hajin football champ makes it to state U19 team, sets aim on nationals

HAJIN: Star footballer Shafayat Ahad, 16, a Class 11 student from Hajin, Bandipora, has made it to the state under-19 football team, bringing joy to his family and the whole town.
An ecstatic Shafayat told Kashmir Reader, “It is a big achievement for me as playing for the big clubs is really a big dream for me, which finally came true today.
“Nobody in Bandipora has been selected for the under-19 nationals in the recent past. My hard work has paid off so far, and this is not the end. My journey is very long,” said Shafayat.
Hailing from a footballing family, Shafayat started his career at Wahab Sports, the biggest and most famous football club in Hajin. He picked up the sport very fast and represented his school at various inter-school games .
His father is himself a brilliant footballer, known across the entire Bandipora area where he represents many clubs. Presently coaching Wahab Club Hajin, he guides his son all the time and never stops him from pursuing his goals.
“It is due to such an environment that I am achieving this desired goal,” Shafayat said. “My two brothers are also brilliant players and they too have represented national teams in school-level games.
“We are three brothers representing Wahab Sport Hajin, and it’s a proud moment for all of us.
“I am lucky that I am in a family where almost half of my family members play football. All my brothers play football, and my father was also a footballer. My family gives me a lot of support, which I can’t forget ever. If I have achieved this dream, it’s all due to the hard work of my father and brothers who guided me well,” said Shafayat.
“I have started kicking in Real Kashmir Football Academy and now I have been finally selected for the U19 team. It is very imporant to me, and I will soon make it to the senior national team, which is my biggest dream.
“I have learned a lot while practising with senior players of Real Kashmir FC, I have been representing them in U-17 Junior Team and was regularly visiting from Hajin to TRC to have practice with seniors, who also guided me well.
“Every footballer dreams of playing for the national team. I have the same goal. I am working hard day in and day out to make it to the senior team of Real Kashmir too,” says Shafayat.
His father said, “Every father has a dream for their children to have a good career, be it in educational field or in sports field. It is my dream to make Shafayat find a place in the national side. I have been giving him relaxation all the time so he becomes a great footballer, and slowly and gradually the dream is coming true. This is indeed a great moment for us all, and I wish him best of luck for his future endeavours.
“It is not over yet, he has to go a long way still, and I am sure he will make it to the biggest clubs in future as well. My prayers are always with him.”
A senior player from Hajin, Asim Aijaz, who is with Chinar Sport Hajin, told Kashmir Reader that Shafayat is a very hard-working boy. “He has a very great passion for football. He is very consistent and he never misses training sessions.
Expressing every confidence in the possibilities for Shafayat’s further career, Aijaz said, “He is one of the best players in the entire district despite being so young. Due to his technical skills, he can be an asset for the nation, if given a chance. He has the capability to lead the nation through brilliant football and has the potential to lead any team to win many trophies. His pace and finishing ability are phenomenal. He will go a long way.”