RFYS’ grassroots initiative is fantastic news for valley’s youth teams: Ishfaq Ahmad

Srinagar: Former India footballer Ishfaq Ahmad has said competitive tournaments were key to honing skills of players for taking the game to the next level in the valley.
Ahmad, a former head coach of the Indian U-16 men’s team, said this after Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS) conducted its grassroots football competitions here in the U-21 category.
The RFYS is set to conduct tournaments in U-15 category for boys and U-19 for girls as well.
“It is fantastic news for the youth teams. They have been training day in, day out, but the lack of competition was a big issue here. Now, RFYS has taken this fantastic initiative, and it is a positive sign for Kashmiri football,” Ahmed, who is currently the head coach of Real Kashmir FC, said.
The former coach of Kerala Blasters FC said the players will now be able to judge themselves because of these competitions.
“This will help our younger generation to develop both mentally and physically for the matches,” he said, adding it would help in taking the game to the next level.
A former head coach of Indian senior women’s national team, Sajid Yousuf Dar said such initiatives were lacking in Jammu and Kashmir in the past.
“I thank Reliance Foundation Youth Sports for coming forward and collaborating in the education sector with the University of Kashmir. This is what we need and we need to put efforts together to take the football of J-K to the next level,” Dar, who coaches the football team at the University of Kashmir, said.
After conducting the U-21 category tournament in collaboration with University of Kashmir, the RFYS will be holding similar tournaments in the U-15 and U-19 categories for boys and girls respectively.

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