Nadiya Nighat: Kashmir’s unstoppable female footballer

Nadiya Nighat: Kashmir’s unstoppable female footballer
GK Photo

Srinagar, Jan 18: Writing a new chapter in the history of J&K Women football, Kashmir top female footballer cum coach of the UT team, Nadiya Nighat has now joined Kerala Women's League.

In J&K, where women's football is not reckoned highly, there is one player who is writing new chapters every passing day. Nadiya who is a professional player cum coach, last month signed for Don Bosco FC to play in Kerala Women's football league at Thrissur, Kerala.

She has been a prominent figure in the team that has been doing well in the top professional league of Kerala that involves teams from the I-League side like Gokulam Kerala FC.

"It has been good so far I am enjoying my time in the top women's professional league in the Country. I am learning new things and my game is getting better day by day," Nadiya Said.

"Soon after representing J&K in the Senior National Women's Championship that was held in Kerala, I received offers from the club to play for them in the league. Being professional I found it exciting to explore new destinations and improve my game, so I readily agreed," Nadiya said.

It is not the first time Nadiya has been involved with outside J&K teams to play in professional leagues. Previously she has played in Karnataka Women's League, Delhi Women's League as well. She was also part of J&K CM's XI side in the Indian Women's League in 2016.

"As women football is not that much developed in J&K, I look for the opportunities and that is why play in outside leagues," she said.

Nadiya started playing football in the year 2007 and went on play at sub-junior and U-19 level for J&K.

"It was not an easy decision but I loved the game and none could stop me from playing it. Initially hesitant, my family has been fully supportive since and allowed me to play the game that I love," she said.

Nadiya has represented J&K senior side in Nationals in 2015, 2018, and 2021.

"I have been captain of the side in 2018 and 2021. In the recent National championship, J&K did a decent job and I believe if we work hard on our game at the grassroots level we will get better results, " Nadiya said.

Apart from being a professional player, Nadiya has been an active and professional Coach since 2014.

"I did my grassroot level coaching in 2014 and in 2015 did AFC D License. In 2016-17 I also did NIS short course in football coaching. In 2018 I did my AFC-C Licence and in 2020 did IPSO Scouting level one," Nadiya said.

Since 2015 Nadiya has been discharging daul duties of coach cum player. She has been associated with various professional teams of J&K.

"I started working with SFA in 2016-17 and then went on to be the head coach of Under-13 boys in Mumbai. I have also worked with Lone Star Kashmir FC and Real Kashmir FC," she said.

Apart from working with various professional teams of J&K, Nadiya has also been running her own academy of both girls and boys with the name of JJ7.

"Aim is to contribute, one way or another way. If everyone does their bit, I am sure we will be able to nurture talent in a lot better way," she said.

About J&K women's football, she said, " Compared with other places, J&K women's football is behind. To bring it to that level, a lot of work is needed to be done. Not only JKFA, but it is also the responsibility of those who have achieved a lot from this game. They can't sit outside and issue statements. Everyone needs to contribute and lift this game amoung women's in J&K".

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