Srinagar, Oct 31:Two
teenagershave made Kashmir proud after they were selected for India’s U-16
Two 15 year olds – Syed Zahid Hussain Bukhari of Natipora
and Sajad Hussain Parray of Gund Hasibhat–have achieved the feat after
successfully passing the final trails held at Bhubaneswar.
Both footballers were spotted by ace footballer Sajid Yusuf
Dar during a state football tourney. He later recommended their names for U-16
Bukhari, a goalkeeper associated with Real Kashmir FC (RKFC)
for the past two years, represented the club in various matches at the state
and national level.
“I used to play for RKFC. Sajid Sir spotted me during an
annual state league match with J&K Bank earlier this year. Then he
recommended me for U-16 trails, which I qualified successfully,” he said.
A former cricketer, Bukhari credits his success to Real
Kashmir FC. “I have been playing in U-13 and U-15 teams of RKFC. I played for
the club in U-15 second division I-League as well. I rubbed my shoulders with
experienced players which helped me to hone my skills,” he said.
A Manchester City United fan, Bukhari wants to represent
India U-19 team. “I want to play for RKFC in I-League. There will be challenges,
but I am prepared to overcome them. I will be leaving tomorrow to join the
camp,” he said.
Sajjad Hussain Parray, State Football Academy defender who
played for India in U-15 tourney, has been promoted to U-16 this year after his
“As U-15 footballer, I played for India in Nepal. Then I was
promoted to U-16 and played matches in United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and South
Africa,” he said.
Parray, who is inspired by his brother, said he hopes to
play for senior team in I- League.
“I will have to work hard to realise my dream. State
Football Academy honed my skills. Plus Sajid sir helped me too,” he said.
RKFC academy coaches Aijaz Ahmad and Inayatullah said both
teen footballers will represent India in all the FIFA competitions.
“They have a bright future. Another footballer Arsalaan Arif
is on his way to achieve similar feat. Real Kashmir Academy is working hard to
identify fresh talent,” said the coaches.