Srinagar: In a first, Jammu and Kashmir is going to host National football Camp for Under-16 Championship.
The India camp for the SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Under-16 Championship will be held in Srinagar from the third week of July, the National football Federation announced on Saturday. This has added new chapter in the history of JK Football.
Making JK a part of vision and road map of AIFF for development of football will definitely boost the players and aspiring footballers to create a niche at national and international level.
The camp will be held under newly-appointed coach Ishfaq Ahmed. The SAFF U-16 Championship is slated in Bhutan from Ist to 11th September.
Speaking on occasion Ishfaq Ahmad, former international footballer and head coach of U 16 men’s team said: “The hosting of the U-16 camp in Srinagar is a unique move for many reasons. First, we never had an opportunity to hold a National Camp and it is also a fulfilment of the promise by our President Mr. Kalyan Chaubey and Secretary General Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, to make the game a pan-India affair. With the Government of J&K providing so much support for the camp, I will do my best to see India emerge champions in the SAFF U-16 tournament.”
Such a huge development is because joint of tireless efforts of JK administration and AIFF and all those who are working for development of football in JK .
Speaking on the occasion, Arun Malhotra, former Indian footballer , Ongcian and member Technical Committee AIFF said ” I am emotionally overwhelmed that ultimately what we proposed for boosting football in Jammu and kashmir is accepted and being implemented in phased manner by AIFF . This is a continuous process, recently AIFF conducted the first ever coaching education and imparting E licence coaching courses to budding coaches in Jammu and C licence at Srinagar. Besides, five players from JK participated in trials for U-16 men’s team. Being in AIFF and to be part of rolling out policies focusing on welfare of players and their excellence in football under the leadership of president AIFF Kalyan chaubey and Secretary general Dr Shaji Prabhakaran gives me immense pleasure that such huge developments are taking place in Jammu and Kashmir .
Arun has further added that it would not have possible without help from JK administration, I am thankful to LG, Chief Secretary JK, commissioner secretary, youth service and sports. He also added that in coming times many more initiatives are in pipeline and
I believe that together we bring change and see in near future that our players and coaches make name and fame at national and international arena.”
The camp initially will start with 52 probables picked up by a team of experts from the AIFF after extensive scouting in five zones – East, West, North, West and North East. While the Head Coach himself and Harjinder Singh, former international and Head of Scouts, AIFF, were involved in the process, several other qualified scouts were also pressed into service to find out the best available talents. The similarities in the weather conditions between Srinagar and Bhutan are also one of the reasons why the camp is being held in the state, widely known as the Heaven on Earth.