I was not a big football fan at first, cricket was my thing until i graduated high school. Things started to change for me and life got tougher as i entered a Dental College to pursue a career in dental surgery. A chain of depressing events occurred in my life took me down to rock bottom and i left sports for a while to get my life straight, until a buddy of mine forced me to start playing street football matches in the evening which would help me get through the whole process.
2 years back an opportunity knocked at my door and a football academy popped up out of nowhere right in my vicinity and I decided that was it, i had to take up something that would really change my life and that’s where i got into a football academy at the age of 18, although i started late but the coaching staff really helped me out to get me the concept and feel of this beloved game.
My Coach always said one thing to me “The wall is your best friend” if you want to improve your game,take a ball and bang it against the wall again and again,i started doing that and my ball control got better and better, I was placed in the reserves team back then but i always wanted to be on the first team, time passed and one day my chance was there, Reserves vs First team and i was in the starting 11 for the reserves.
We ended up winning the match 4-1 and i scored my first career goal ever in that match. Motivated and Inspired from that i wanted more and more, I fell in love with the game which offered me so much. On the field it is a different world, the opportunities are endless and you can play your heart out there.
So i made it into the first team squad and that’s where i got my first ever Team Jersey. Robin Van Persie always inspired me so i decided to take up the “number 20” and i even gave myself a nickname “Van Farsi”; pretty ironic!
Football in Pakistan is flourishing now and i feel happy that i’m part of this change. I now play as a midfielder,winger and striker but midfield will always be my thing as dribbling the ball around is such a lovely feeling. My Dream is to play football on a professional level one day, be it for Pakistan or Manchester United and I hope that i can earn a sports scholarship for my post graduate studies in the near future InshaAllah.
Right now my advice to those who think of giving up on their dreams is “Never Back Down and Never Quit” because just when you are about to give up, there’s an opportunity right on the corner of the road, so keep moving forward. Football will always be my first love and it has taught me a lot.
This article is part of the exclusive reader-submitted series ‘FPDC Stories’. If you too want your footballing story heard, email us at s.sohail@footballpakistan to get published.