Asif Khan: From College Football to the ISL Main Team

18-year-old Mohammed Asif Khan, who was promoted to Mumbai City FC senior squad, up until 18 months ago had only played for his college and university

18-year-old Mohammed Asif Khan, who was recently promoted to Mumbai City FC senior squad, up until 18 months ago had only played for his school and college teams.

Asif Khan, who replaced young defender Anwar Ali, will be eager to impress Coach Jorge Costa and aim for the first team position.

Although, Mumbai born Asif had no previous club experience before joining the Islander’s junior team, he had been playing the game since he was in the 2nd Standard. Over the years playing for his school teams and then college teams, Asif had learned the tricks of the game quite well before deciding to try his luck out for the club trials. After impressing the club officials, during the Mumbai City FC open trials last year, the Islanders scouts picked him up for the team’s U18 side, the youngster has never looked back since then.

Despite being an attacking midfielder, his performance during the 2018-19 U18 I-League season impressed one and all, as the youngsters scored four goals and assisted in two others in just eight games. His goal against Iron Born FC was voted by the fans, as the club’s best goal in 2019 across the entire Islanders’ teams.

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The youngster seemed quite excited and short on words about the prospect of playing for his home team as he spoke, “My family is very happy and excited. They were always supportive of me playing football, Supreet Janthan, who was my coach in my college at Father Agnels, has always been my biggest motivator and now that I will be playing for my home club Mumbai City FC, I couldn’t have asked for more. Playing for home side will mean there will always be supporters on my side and I am going to make sure I live up to all their expectations”

Speaking about his role model and inspiration, the youngster stated a familiar name in Indian Football, “Lionel Messi is my role model but among the Indian Footballers, Anirudh Thapa is someone I look up to.”

Speaking on adding the local lad to the squad, Mumbai City FC head coach Jorge Costa said, “Asif is a raw talent and has tremendous potential. He has been training with the senior side since the start of the season and had impressed us with his abilities during the sessions. I believe that his urge to win and his nature to prove himself on the field will make him an asset for us in the side.”

Asif will be donning the number 39 jersey for the Islanders, which was once worned by the club’s former player-coach Nicolas Anelka.

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