Legends of Mumbai Football: Indomitable spirit of Kasif Jamal

Despite facing a career threatening injury even before his professional career began, Kasif Jamal has stood the test of time and destiny to carve out

Despite facing a career threatening injury even before his professional career began, Kasif Jamal has stood the test of time and destiny to carve out his own mark in Mumbai Football

A product of prestigious Tata Football Academy (TFA), Kasif Jamal’s magical left foot would always be the talking point of whichever game he takes part in.

Born in football loving family, Kasif’s father Abdul Hamid and his elder brothers Asif and Tauseef Jamal were all football players during their time, with the latter even going on to represent the Indian national team. It didn’t take long for Kasif to take up the sport as well. Back in 1990, the then 13 year old Kasif, was selected to train in the Tata Football Academy. However, in the year 1992 tragedy struck for Kasif, when during a practice match in Calcutta, he encountered a serious injury. He was immediately taken to Kothari Hospital in Calcutta where the doctors had to operate on him immediately.

The doctors informed the then TFA Director PK Banerjee, that the kid can no longer play football. This information was kept a secret as PK Banerjee allowed Kasif to stay at TFA and recuperate from his injury. Unknown to the doctor’s advice, for 2 years Kasif Jamal didn’t touch the football and spent his time on gym working and improving on his fitness with sole aim of getting back on the field. Two years later he slowly began practicing and training for the game. When finally he was declared fit to play by medical staff, Director PK Banerjee came up to Kasif and informed him about the doctor’s statement. There was no wonder, what Kasif had done was something magical and inspirational.

Despite facing a career threatening injury even before his professional career began, Kasif Jamal has stood the test of time and destiny to carve out

Talking about his struggles during the injury, Kasif explains, “One must have a strong will power that is what kept me going back then and even now. During my tough times, PK Banerjee sir had helped and supported me a lot. “

Coming back from the injury, Kasif represented TFA in Chief Minister’s Gold cup in New Delhi. Playing as a striker, Kasif alongside Dipendu Biswas played a stellar role for the team as TFA went on to lift the trophy. In the final against a much fancied opponents Mohammed Sporting, Kasif scored the third and eventual winner for his side as TFA went on to beat the Kolkata club 3-2. The performances brought in a lot of interest from all over the country for Jamal including Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan.

I practice alongside young generation of footballers and motivate myself to keep my fitness level high for games.”

After graduating from the TFA in 1996 having spent 6 years of his life there, Kasif finally signed for Goan heavyweights Churchill brothers, then coached by Scotsman Danny Mclean. After spending two years with Churchill, Kasif moved back to Mumbai by signing with newly formed Bengal Mumbai FC. Kasif went on to score the club’s first ever goal in their opening game against Mahindra & Mahindra. With BMFC, under the guidance of Iranian Coach Jamshed Nassiri, Kasif Jamal lifted two major trophies in the form of MDFA Super Division as well as Rovers Cup in the same year.

It didn’t take long for the Kolkata Giants to take notice of this young talent as both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal competed for Kasif signature. Ultimately, Kasif decided to go with Mariners. Following his stint with Mohun Bagan, Kasif went on to play for Mohammedan FC next season before joining Central Railways in the year 2001. While at railways, Kasif had loan spells with rival Mumbai club Mahindra & Mahindra and Goan Churchill brothers before finally settling into Central Railways permanently.

Despite facing a career threatening injury even before his professional career began, Kasif Jamal has stood the test of time and destiny to carve out

Despite being a righty in his everyday actions, Kasif’s magic with his left foot in football has always enthralled viewers. From his technique on passing the ball to his body blocks while shielding the ball, Kasif has remained impeccable. The move to railways (which provides a job security) meant Kasif Jamal ending up played just around a decade of top flight football, although he has been a regular presence in Mumbai league since then. The iconic Cooperage stadium in Mumbai has been witness to many memorable goals from the left footed midfield maestro.

While his TFA batch mates like Renedy Singh, Dipendu Biswas and Kalyan Chaubey have long retired from the game, Kasif still goes strong in the Mumbai Football circuit. Even today at the age of 43, he plays a crucial role for Central Railway – (Mumbai Division) in the team’s MDFA Super Division campaign,I practice alongside young generation of footballers and motivate myself to keep my fitness level high for games.” Despite his age, Kasif’s energy and his sturdy physical game play is still quite noticeable, with the latter sometime proving quite tough for the young generation to handle. Kasif has also acquired AFC C-licence in coaching and aims to pursue it full time once he calls off his playing career.

For a player, whose playing career was almost over at the age of 16, Kasif Jamal has slogged a long journey in football, proving the doctors wrong, In this cricket crazy city of Mumbai, Kasif Jamal’s tryst with football is quite noteworthy and something that the young generation can take inspiration from.

In this new initiative, Footballcounter aims to bring out more such untold stories of Mumbai football and we request you all to send us your views or stories about the Mumbai football spirit. You can mail us at football@footballcounter.com

For Trial related updates: Latest trials updates in Mumbai Football
Also Read:  The Indian National Team refocusing before the big match against Qatar
Also Read: Old but still Gold: Mumbai’s old warhorses can still pull strings on-field

Football Counter would love to hear your thoughts or feedback on your experience: Feedback on Football Counter experience

Footie First to conduct trials for MFA 2nd Division team

Footie first will be conducting trials for its first team which will play in the MFA 2nd Division 2021-22 season. While the club has definitely set standards by winning the…


Companeroes SC to conduct trials for MDFA 1st Division Campaign

Mumbai based MDFA 1st division side Companeroes Sports Club will be conducting open trials for their upcoming 2021-22 season. Players interested in appearing for the trials must have prior experience…


Madanpura FA, Sara FA to host trials for the upcoming MDFA season

Sara Football Academy and Madanpura FA to host trials for MDFA Super division & 2nd division and 3rd division respectively on the 30th August 2021. Sara FA will be hosting…


Mumbai Ultras FC invites all aspiring footballers for a trial

Mumbai Ultras FC is organising their trials for the upcoming season. The Mumbai Ultras play in the MDFA Super Division. The team is focused on the holistic aspects such as…


Oscar SSE to conduct trials for multiple age-groups in Mumbai

Mumbai based Oscar SSE will conduct trials for their youth teams on 17th April at the Karnatak Sports Association ground. Oscar SSE is a 2-star AIFF Accredited Academy plying their…


FC Hydra invites all aspiring footballers in Bengaluru for a Trial

FC Hydra will be holding trials for all the aspiring footballers for the upcoming KSFA C Division League. The club has previously held trials for the Women’s team for the…


Kenkre FC to conduct trials for Women’s Team

Mumbai-based Kenkre FC are slated to conduct trials for their Women’s Football Team on the 25th of February at Goan’s Sports Ground in Churchgate. Kenkre FC have long been regarded…


IKF to dispense free international football exposure for children in India

India Khelo Football (IKF) is a non-profit platform aimed at providing kids from India a fair chance to pursue their dream of playing football internationally. IKF shares its vision to…


IDBI Bank to hold trials for a central defender

After successfully conducting their first round of trials on 21st November, MDFA Super Division outfit are now looking to conduct another trial in search of Central Defenders. With football resuming,…


Chedda Nagar FC set to conduct trials for MDFA Super Division

Chedda Nagar Football Fanatics will be conducting trials to reform their MDFA Super Division squad. Being established in 2011, Chedda Nagar is a renowned name in Mumbai football. The team…