New face of JK football: Aakif Reshi shines in 2nd div I-League

After Mehraj Ud Din Wadoo and Ishfaq Ahmad, J&K failed to produce a footballer who shined regularly at national level. With his performances, Aakif has proved his mettle.

ABID KHAN
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 18 2018 12:09AM | Updated Date: May 18 2018 12:09AM
New face of JK football: Aakif Reshi shines in 2nd div I-LeagueGK Photo

Aakif Reshi is new face of state football as he again displayed his skills in the professional national football arena by finishing second in the top scorers list of the second division I-League qualifying round.

In the nine games played while representing Lone Star Kashmir FC in the league, Aakif Reshi who hails from Anantnag district of South Kashmir scored seven goals including a hat-trick. He is the second best scorer in the league at the end of qualifying round. On the second spot he is tied with other two footballers who both have scored seven goals while as foreigner Robert De Souza with eight goals stands on number one spot.

After Mehraj Ud Din Wadoo and Ishfaq Ahmad, J&K failed to produce a footballer who shined regularly at national level. With his performances, Aakif has proved his mettle.

While Lone Star Kashmir FC struggled in entire campaign, Aakif played a lonely hand trying to salvage pride. Despite his heroics Lone Star still finished on bottom of the points table. Apart from scoring regularly, Aakif scored his only hat-trick in the 3-3 scintillating draw against FC Pune City. In the league Lone Star managed to draw only two while as suffered defeat in seven.

Apart from dominating the local football arena from last three years, Aakif has left his mark on the professional football circuit while competing against some of the best teams and players.

On the basis of his performance in national arena, Aakif last year was roped in by Mohammedan Sporting Kolkatta for playing in Kolkatta League. He did well there and has been impressive back home in the local events as well. Aakif this year joined J&K Bank football club and helped team to emerge winner in couple of events.

The 26-year old striker used to play for Nasheman FC when he was spotted by Coach Hilal Rasool Parray during 2016 Santosh Trophy trials.

Impressing coach during JK’s Santosh trophy campaign he was inducted into I-League level club, Kashmir FC by him.

“Coming from small club like Nasheman FC and then to play for Santosh Trophy and I-League is a dream which got fulfilled within a year,” Aakif said.

“Like previous years, I came for Santosh trophy trials and was selected by Coach Hilal Rasool Parray for the JK team. In the event, he used me as stopper back instead of my natural position of striker. I obeyed his instructions and after the match he praised me for the way I played and following all his instructions. After Santosh trophy he selected me for Kashmir FC which was real big surprise as this club plays in India’s biggest domestic professional club league,” Aakif said.

Aakif this year too played for Lone Star in I-League but midway upon his return from Kolkatta joined J&K Bank FC. However, he was let on loan to play for Kashmir in I-League.

“In J&K to get offer from J&K Bank football team is dream for every footballer. I am lucky to get this offer and I will try my best to deliver to my best potential and make team real powerhouse of JK football. To play for Lone Star in I-League was the commitment that I needed to fulfill. Though I did well but it would have been better if we as team would have delivered,” Aakif said.