Sajid Yusuf Dar was selected by All India Football Federation as the head coach in SAARC Under-14 ‘Exchange Football Tournament’ held in Japan. Here he talks to Abid Rashid Baba on his achievements, inspirations and much more.
Sajid Yousuf Dar is the only international coach of the state and the head coach for under-19 national football team. He is one of the two Kashmiri coaches along with Hilal Rasool Parry who have got ‘A’ license from the Asian Football Confederation [AFC]. Recently, he was selected by All India Football Federation (AIFF) as the head coach in SAARC under-14 ‘Exchange Football Tournament’ held in Japan in which nine countries participated.
Football is worldwide sport and it is the only sport watched, played and loved by majority in the world. We have a lot of talent in Kashmir but lack proper coaching at grass root level which is very important is missing,” he said.
Sajid did his B Sc from Sri Pratap College in Srinagar after which he completed his diploma from National Institute of Football, Patiala in 2003-2004 and BP.Ed from Punjab University. “I did AFC ‘C’ from Lucknow in 2006 under Gabriel Joseph and ‘B’ license under an Iranian instructor, Masud Egbali, in 2009 at Chennai,” he said.
Sajid who was also the president of sports fraternity in Dalgate started his career when he joined SP College in 1992.”I did not play football till my schooling was over. However, I was much impressed by my father, Muhammad Yousuf Dar, an international footballer and I joined Srinagar-based Shining Star Club, Iqbal Sports and YMCA (Young Men Christen Association) club of Biscoe School which had the maximum fan following club in J&K.
“I got my first coaching assignment soon after completing my diploma in 2004-2005 when KA Tarzan from Kashmir University called me to coach the university’s football team. I was appointed as the head coach of under 21 football team,” he told Kashmir Life.
His other assignments included training players of Jammu Kashmir Football Association (JKFA) & Sports Council. He was also involved in the youth development football programs.”I represented state in three Santosh Trophy tournaments and I was also the vice president of J&K Sports Development Associations,” he said
Sajid’s career achieved new heights after he was selected for an international assignment in Japan. “I am on cloud nine. I can’t describe my feelings in words. I joined coaching profession and I believe that this just a beginning. Inshallah, I will get many more such assignments.”
Sajid is grateful to JKFA for encouraging and recommending his name for AFC course. “As far as my coaching is concerned, JKFA has always appreciated my work and whenever they gave me any assignment, I have always given my best. It always feels good when your work is appreciated and your talent is recognized. I am lucky that I belong to such a family where sports especially football runs in the blood and I am proud to be a son of legendary footballer. Whatever I am today is all because of my father,’’ he says.
“We are proud to see Sajid reaching such a level. It is a big achievement not only for Sajid but for whole football fraternity. We are sure that he will achieve many more great heights in his career,” a statement issued by Jammu and Kashmir Football Association read.
It is for the second time that Sajid has been appointed as the head coach of Indian National Team. Before this, he led the Indian national team in the AFC under-14 football festival at Nepal where India came second. ‘’I feel honored to be part of National Team and I am highly thankful to AIFF for selecting me and having faith in me and giving me the opportunities from time to time,” Sajid says. He was the head coach of AFC under-14 national football team in Football festival held at Kathmandu, Nepal from May 17 this year.
When asked how he managed to make it big, Sajid responds, “Actually Asian Football Confederation conducted a coaching course at Hosur, Tamil Nadu from Aug 12 to Sept 17 this year under an instructor, Vincent Subramaniam. “26 coaches from whole India took part in the course. Out of 26, only seven passed the course and I was the only coach selected from Kashmir for this international tour,” he says.