By Shahrukh Sohail & Mohammad Shahnawaz
UK-born Bilal spent his youth development years at Brentford and although he is playing for England 6-a-sides in the European Championships, the midfielder has lofty ambitions of donning the Pakistan jersey.
Butt, who is an imposing figure in the middle of the park, started the game from a young age like most football –loving kids. But he was quickly snapped up by Brentford, where he remained for nearly 11 years.
“I started my career at a local Sunday team that my dad took me to,” said Bilal while exclusively talking to FootballPakistan.com.
“I spent most of my time at Brentford, starting from the age of 7. I loved it and it was really tough when I got released at 18. But I trialed at Staines, before later moving on to Goldalming Town and Walton & Hersham F.C, where I played semi-pro football.”
Though his career did not take off immediately and he struggled to get back into football, the amazing season at Cockfosters FC, where he scored 30 goals from midfield really lit up the show for Bilal, who claims he enjoyed every bit of it.
“It was a great season as we won promotion. And made me realize I could score a lot of goals. I truly believe if given the chance higher, I can repeat that as I scored 5 in my first 3 games for Beaconsfield. That later got me a move to Hendon, but I got injured and went on loan to Beaconsfield, where I played well but later fell out of favour with the manager. I returned to Cockfosters briefly, before moving onto my current side Burnham FC.”
While his career is still on-going, Bilal is proud of his Pakistani heritage and is eager to follow in the footsteps of Adnan Ahmed, Zesh Rehman and Amjad Iqbal by representing the Pak Shaheens at international level. Moreover, Bilal comes with rave reviews from Pakistani internationals who played with him in the Pakistan International XI and was even called up by former manager Zavisa, although he ultimately didn’t feature because of an injury.
“I would love to play for the Pakistan national team. It is an ambition of mine to become a great player for them. Just waiting for the call,” he adds.
Though his sights are set on Pakistan, the energetic midfielder is involved with the 5-a-side setup in the UK and has been indicted into the England team that is set to take part in the European championships in Croatia.
“I play a lot of 5 aside as you may know my team is currently number 1 in England winning trips to Dubai and Brazil twice. And playing in global tournaments out there, which has got me noticed for the 6-a-side England team, where will travel to play Germany next month as well as the European championships in Croatia.”
Signing off, the midfield maestro added that his aim is high and he is determined to be a success for Pakistan when given the opportunity to shine.
“I plan on playing as high as I can, touring as many countries as possible footballing wise and being a success for the Pakistan national team,” the talented youngster was quoted as saying while talking to FootballPakistan.com.