Srinagar, Oct 7: Taking giant strides in the Indian football arena this 19-year old Kashmir footballer Muheet Shabir Khan is all set to feature in this season’s Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21.
Having joined Kerala Blasters year ago as Under-18 Goalkeeper, Muheet who hails from Batamallo area of Srinagar has pushed himself up the order, first into reserve side and now into first team of Kerala Blasters for this season’s ISL. He has done this within a year of joining one of the top football sides of Country. The preparations for this season’s league have already started with teams already in Bio-Secure bubble due to COVID-19 pandemic.This season ISL is scheduled to be held from November 2020 to March 2021 and is likely to be held at three venues of Goa due to pandemic.
Muheet is currently in Bio-Secure of Kerala Blasters alongwith rest of the team members. “It is great to be with main team of Kerala Blasters. I have worked hard to reach here and secure my place in first team for this seasons ISL. However, the work is still half done as there is lot of competition in the team for the goalkeeper spot. There are already three top level keepers in our side and I have to fight for my place with them,” Muheet was quoted by Greater Kashmir.
“I am confident that I will be able to get my chance to play in ISL as I have worked hard. Within a year of joining Kerala Blasters side on a five year contract I have pushed myself from Under-18 player to a Reserve side player and now into main team all due to my hard work. I trust my abilities and trust my mentors back home who keep guiding me to push harder,” he said.
Muheet started playing football when he was six year old kid with his father Shabir Hussain who himself was an established footballer. Shabir was one of the top level goalkeepers of J&K during his time and played for J&K in many nationals. He for most part of his career played for Iqbal Sports. It was Shabir who groomed and nurtured Muheet during his early career till he got call from Sports Council Football Academy officials Mehraj ud Din Wadoo and Sajid.
Muheet spent his early playing days with SFA and during the time also was called for Under-19 India trials as well as for Tata Football Academy. He also spent two months with Indian Arrows side, which is developmental side of All India Football Federation. He came back to Kashmir and started playing with SFA again. Then came, the big opportunity his way as Ishfaq Ahmed who is Assistant coach of Kerala Blasters called Muheet’s father and offered place in the side.
“Ishfaq bhai who had seen me called my father and offered the place in Kerala Blasters Under-18 side. My father agreed and they sent a ticket to Kerala. Next day I joined the Kerala side and there I was part of 30-day selection process. I impressed the selectors and goalkeeping coach. They offered me five year contract and since then I am with the side,” Muheet said.
Muheet is thankful to all his mentors and supporters who have backed him all through his career and want to establish himself as one of the top keepers of Country.
“In early career it was SFA that helped me and then Ishfaq bhai came up with the biggest opportunity so far. He has been supportive all along and this season I will be under his guidance in first team during the league. ISL is big opportunity for me to prove my talent and ability at the highest arena of Indian football. It is hard that this season chance to play in middle will come my way but I have to keep myself ready and prepared mentally. Whenever that chance comes my way I need to grab that with both hands,” Muheet added.
As per experts Muheet is top quality goalkeeper who through his hardwork and dedication has reached this level.
“We have seen too many youngsters going outside and join sides. But hardly anyone has endured the grueling training and weather conditions. This kid has done all this and has pushed himself from an Under-18 footballer into a main team player. This really tells us about his work ethics and dedication,” said a known footballer of Kashmir.
(With inputs from Greater Kashmir)