Suhail hopes to leave a lasting impression in ISL

Suhail hopes to leave a lasting impression in ISL
GK Photo

Srinagar, Jan 13: Suhail Ahmad Bhat, a young football player from J&K, has joined ATK Mohun Bagan of the Indian Super League (ISL) with the intention of leaving his mark at the illustrious Club.

 Suhail, who is from the Bemina area of Srinagar, has signed a two-and-a-half-year contract with ATK Mohun Bagan. After the AIFF development team in the I-League, Indian Arrows was shut down, he joined the ISL team.

ATK Mohun Bagan acted quickly after spotting the chance to make a deal for a 17-year-old striker from Kashmir. With an eye toward the future, the Kolkata giants signed a few young players, including Suhail, for their team. The ISL is now the top division in the nation, and Suhail has his sights set on establishing a name for himself there.

“I am excited to be joining the club that has a huge legacy and history behind it. When we talk about Indian football, Mohun Bagan’s name comes to the front as well. Indian football legacy is associated with the Mohun Bagan which has given the Country some of the stalwarts,” Suhail said.

“Since its joining, ISL, the club has done reasonably well in the new league also. The team has got some big names in it and to be part of this side is a great honour,” Suhail said.

Suhail said that his aim is to play in ISL for the club and for that he will work hard during training to impress everyone.

“I have joined the club that already has a well-set playing squad. To get into playing eleven, I need to work hard and impress the coach and everyone. I have started training with the team and It’s going well. Playing with the best club in the country so it always feels good to play there,” Suhail said.

“There is no substitute for hard work. In order to leave your mark at a club that has its own history, takes a lot of effort and hardwork. I am focussed on that,” he said.

The 17-year-old, Suhail Bhat was recently also featured in the Guardian, a national British daily among its 60 of the best young talents in the World.

The list featured some of the brightest talents in the World of football belonging to some of the high-profile clubs of the World who are born in 2005. The Guardians, Asian correspondent John Duerden while including Kashmir footballer in the list termed Suhail Bhat as the next Sunil Chhetri of Indian football.

“This hard-working striker was identified as one of the brightest talents in the Kashmir region even before he was a teenager. Willing to run at defenders and full of self-belief, he has excelled at every youth level he has been thrown into so far – scoring on his Under-16 debut for India against the United Arab Emirates in 2021 – meaning that there are high hopes that the 17-year-old will eventually be the long-term successor of India’s striking legend Sunil Chhetri,” John Duerden had written about Suhail in the 60 of the best young talents in World column.

Suhail started his football journey with the Sports Council Football Academy Under-13 side.

Suhail Bhat was called to India U-16 side in 2021. In his debut against the United Arab Emirates in 2021, the striker found the back of the net. He made his I-League debut against Sudeva Delhi on March 4- 2022 for Indian Arrows.

He made seven appearances for Indian Arrows during the 2021-22 season.

Suhail was also included in India’s Under-20 side for the AFC campaign.

Suhail said that he wouldn’t have been in the Indian football arena without the support of his family.

“I owe a lot to my family who kept supporting and motivating me. Without them, I wouldn’t have been here. My father Mohammad Abdullah Bhat was himself a local footballer and knew that it needs a lot of hardwork and dedication to achieve something. He kept supporting me at every level,” Suhail said.

Former India International and Sports Council football coach Mehraj ud Din Wadoo termed Suhail a bright prospect who can do wonders for Indian football.

“He is a talented player and has the potential to be a top player. He needs to work hard. He was with SCFA since its establishment. Coach Ali Muhammad has trained him in Under 13 level and then he was promoted to the senior team of SCFA by me,” Mehraj said.

“He played with us for two years in the senior team before going to the National team where he scored a goal also in Dubai,” Wadoo added.

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