From Kashmir to Madrid: The Story of Ishan Pandita  

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By Waheed ur Rehman

Jammu

Our next generation is not just showing interest in the field of sports, but are setting examples for the generations to come. They are showing their potential at the international as well as national level.

Ishan Pandita, 20, from Tral in south Kashmir, is all set to make his state proud at the international arena in football. He became the first Indian to sign a professional contract in Spain.

Ishan was just 3 years old when his family moved to the Philippines in 2001. He stayed there till 2009 and learned his basics in football from British School Manila. He finished his grade 10th from “The International School Baronage”, India’s prestigious school where more than 90% kids go to Ivy League Harvard Yale MIT.

Ishan preferred to pursue football as a career and in 2014 when he went to an Academy for one year in Madrid to learn more. His desperation for the game didn’t stop here and in 2016, he went to Almeria in Sugenda club (second highest league in Spain) and played under 18 with them. In Spain, he signed the first contract of his football career.

Ishan went to Sweden to attend Gothia Cup where one Swedish club got interested in him. He went for trials but things did not work as most of the players from our homeland lack tactical football training. In 2017, he signed the professional contract with Almeria Laliga Club and played in Under 18 team. Unfortunately, he got an injury and came back to India and missed few months of football training. He has recovered now and is going back on 12th and will explore new possibilities.

(The author is Secretary, J&K State Sports Council)

 

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