Idrees Ali

Danish Farooq: Kashmir’s next star footballer in the making

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Danish has got potential to play in Europe:Shamim Meraj ,owner Real Kashmir FC

Srinagar: Every football fan in Kashmir has heard about two star  footballers of Kashmir Mehrajudin Wadoo and Ishafq Ahmad,both played at international level .But, now latest talent in  Kashmir, Danish farooq of Real Kashmir FC Is emerging as a  next  star footballer of Kashmir after Ishafq and Wadoo.

Srinagar boy Danish farooq (22) 6 feet tall midfielder is getting praises from all quarters for his performance in recently concluded I league second division 2017-2018. Danish’s stand out performance in  the league helped  Real Kashmir FC  create history as real Kashmir become first club in Jammu and Kashmir  to qualify top division of I league.

Danish farooq was top scorer for Real Kashmir FC with   4 goals  along with three other players of the club, .On the big day in a virtual final with Hindustan FC ,Danish scored a fabulous goal and also assisted a goal  which ensured Real Kashmir FC’s  place in  I league.

Son of former legendary  Kashmiri footballer Farooq Ahmad Bhat,Danish faroq followed footsteps of his father and make it  to the big stage of Indian club football .Speaking to The  ‘Kashmir Images’  while  talking about his journey from amateur to professional footballer he said, “My father was a professorial footballer ,so we had a good football  culture in our family. I imitated my father and  started playing football from  my childhood .I used to play in Eidgah ground near my locality. I was selected in J&K bank  football academy  at the  age of 13.”

After playing in the academy for two years Danish was selected for J&K bank football team .He won around 12 leagues and tournaments with J&K bank Football club

“Stint at  J&K bank football club started my professional football career   . But ,J&K bank  football  club was not eligible to play in  I league .A much need platform for football  players in Kashmir was missing .Formation of two private clubs in Kashmir Lone star Kashmir FC  and Real Kashmir FC created a  big hope .Then in  2016 real Kashmir was formed .Owner of Real Kashmir FC Shamim Meraj spotted me and i joined Real Kashmir FC on loan .I played in I league second division 2016-2017  for Real Kashmir FC .”He added.

Danish says experience in I league second division was turning point for me. “ I got to play against big  clubs of Indian football which improved my skills .We didn’t qualified for I league in our debut season. But,we gained lot of experience which helped us in next season where we crowned champions.”

In 2017 Real Kashmir becomes first football club in Kashmir to play on foreign soil by playing 4 matches in Scotland .Danish was part of the team which played in Scotland .Speaking about experience in Scotland Danish said, “playing in Scotland was life time opportunity for me. The standard of football is very high in Scotland. They have good infrastructure .Even a small team has got well established infrastructure .AS compared to Scotland we are lacking far behind in terms of football Infrastructure.”

Danish says coach David  Robertson played a big role in our success “His vision lead us to become champions of  I league second division .He always had got belief in me .He gives players freedom to play. He always keep us motivating .He is one of the  best coach under which I have ever played.” Danish said.

Danish said,” My first inspiration was my father. I also got inspiration from Ishafq and Wadoo to play football  at higher level in Indian football .At international level Cristiano Ronaldo is my role model .I like his   playing style and attitude.”

On road ahead, Danish said “My next goal is to play in ISL (Indian Super League) .For that I league will be platform for me .I will give my best in  I league and I believe  our team  will do good in I league.”

Sajid Yousuf Dar, former football international coach, has all praises for Danish , He said, “ I first saw Danish playing when he came for J&K bank football  academy trails. From the beginning he was playing quality football. He has got ability to emerge as a successful player .He is tactically very strong .He has got all the qualities which a midfielder needs. He has proved his mettle in I league second division  and will continue to do so in  I league.”

Sajid Dar futher added “After Mehrajudin  Wadoo and Ishfaq, now Danish has has emerged .He  has potential to do wonders in Indian football ”

Owner of real Kashmir, Shamim Meraj ,firmly believes that Danish Farooq will excel at national and international arena, he said, “It is my personal belief that Danish has Got potential  to play in Europe at top most level  and our coach David Robertson also believe it. I Also believe that Danish will be best ever footballer to come out from Kashmir.

“He is young, dynamic and passionate footballer .He is destined for bigger things in life.” He added.

Come October Danish Farooq will play it out in I league and football lovers in Kashmir are eagerly waiting for the movement and are counting the days.

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