Sajid Yousuf – Football Coach

Sajid Yousuf Football Coach

Football is in our genes or you can say it is in our blood. It is the game played and loved by every family member from so many decades. During our childhood, my Uncle and my Father were the prominent figures. People from length and breadth of the state use to come to watch them play. I have not seen much of my Uncles play, but surely remember the master class of my dad Mr Mohammad Yousuf Dar the first Senior International Footballer of J and K State. He was loved by one and all and for me, he is my Hero and a great inspiration.

Though I started a bit late but was quick enough to follow the footprints of my dad.
Like others, i started from School level and played for some famous clubs of the state.
In mid-nineties Biscoe School came up with one club YMCA which provided us the right platform at right time. After YMCA, I played for City Club and Iqbal Sports.

During playing career I represented state teams in many junior and senior national ( Santosh Trophy) tournaments and even captained the team in Federation Cup.
After my last senior nationals, I went for Diploma from NSNIS Patiala reason being the dearth of coaches in the state. For me, it was a right decision at right time. I served JKFA to develop state youth teams and at the same time finished my AFC Licences in a quick time. I got my first assignment from All India Football Federation (AIFF) in 2011 when I got a chance to work with Mr. Colm Toal who was TD of AIFF that time. Then in 2012 AIFF appointed me as Head Coach of U 14 Boys national team for two assignments (Nepal and Japan).

After seeing my performance I was appointed as Head Coach AIFF U-16 Boys Team and later I was given the responsibility of Head Coach of U-17 FIFA world cup preparation team.

From Jan 2015 to May 2017 I remained Head Coach of Senior Indian Women National Football Team and won Two Gold Medals for the country. I also served AIFF as technical advisor and head scout for women football development in India.

Indian Women Football Coach

It was a wonderful journey with the national teams. Starting from youth to senior. Every age group was a challenge but for me, I handled it in a nice manner. Sometimes there’s too much pressure but you need to handle it in a nice way, if you don’t you will be on a losing end. And moreover while dealing with pressure you learn a lot and that thing helped me.

For me, the secret is Hard work and passion. Nothing comes easily in one’s life there are so many sacrifices behind the success stories. People who work dedicatedly and passionately will achieve what they want. When ( started my career my aim was to be the part of the national team and which I achieved and for that, I worked very hard.

Right now I am back to Valley and serving my parent department (University of Kashmir). Apart from that guiding and helping JK state to develop the game of football.

His vision for Kashmir Football:

We have a good history of football in past, we have produced players of international reputation. But from few years other states have grown at a tremendous pace and we are a bit behind them. We need to start focusing on youth development and grassroots and that too very seriously. JKSSC and JAKFA are already in a process of starting football academies in every district, and if everything goes as per plan people will see a big change in coming time. And it is not me, it is us who have to the change scenario of JK football and at this point of time CHANGE IS MUST. 

My advice to youth is time is very precious make most of it. If you don’t you will see it running away from your hands.

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