Eye On The Goal

Staying focused and determined, a young football player from Jammu is making a name for himself. Shveata Chandel reports on the dreams and accomplishments of Arun Malhotra, a football player.

If you stay focused despite being in difficult circumstances, you will achieve your task.

This holds good for ArunMalhotra, a football player, who has not only carved a niche for himself in the field of football but has also made the state proud. He is presently playing for his employers, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC).

They say that coming events cast their shadows before, and this fits well with the upcoming footballer. Never did Arun know that the childhood pastime could become his destiny.

He joined the Young Sports Club in1992 for one year before shifting to Vijay Club.

Arun also played for three years for his former employer, Jammu and Kashmir Bank. He quit the bank and pursued football as a full-fledged career. “I joined Air India Mumbai in 1998. This was the start of my professional career”, he said.

Gradually, he developed a passion for the game and a love for the sport. This motivated him to train and inspire youngsters and budding football players to sharpen their talent by learning the nuances of the game. Arunhas been holding free camps to provide coaching to football aspirants in the state.

As a state level player, Arun has represented Jammu and Kashmir for four years in the Inter-district Football Tournament and, for six years he represented the J&K team in the state championship. He also represented All India LalBahadurShastri Tournament and All India ManniShahi Memorial Football Tournament for two years each, All India Guru Gobind Singh Memorial Football Tournament for a year and represented All India Jagadri Meet Football Tournament for two years.

 “I have also represented the State in the prestigious SubrotoMukerjee Cup Football Tournament, National Sports Talent Contest , Sub Junior Football Tournament , School National  Football Tournament ( U-17 ), School National Tournament  ( U -19 ) , Junior National Football Championship of India “, he says .

Arun has also represented Jammu and Kashmir in the various other events and tournaments.

“I have also played for Air India Club for 2 years, Kingfisher East Bengal for fouryears, Mahindra and Mahindra for three years and for the past eight years, I have been playing for ONGC.

Arunadds, “In the national level tournaments, I have  played Durand Cup for ten times;  IFA Shield seven times , National Football League nine times , Federation Cup for ten times , Santosh Trophy for eight times.”

On the prospect and future of the game in Jammu and Kashmir, he says: “There is no dearth of talent in the State but what is required is the exposure to young aspirants. Jammu and Kashmir lacks in sports infrastructure and other avenues, as nothing much has been done in this arena so far. That is the reason that most of the players try to move outside in search of good opportunities.

This year ArunMalhotra was honored four times by the state. He was first honored by the Chief Minister in January, and thenwas awarded by the Sports Minister in March. Arun went on to get a State award with cash prize of Rs 51,000, citation and medal at SKICC Srinagar in May.He had been recently been awarded the Sher – e – Kashmir award, at an event held on December 5th, 2011.

INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENTS
(Total matches played —-39 International matches)
1.        Independence Cup :           (2001-02)  Nepal (Gold Medal)
2.         L.G. Cup  :           (2002-03)  Vietnam (Gold Medal)
3.         England Invitation                                 :         (2002-03)  Zamaica and England
4.         Exhibition                                             :          (2002-03)  Uzbekistan        
5.         Asia Cup                                              :           (2003-04) North Korea
6.         Pre-Olympic                                          :           (2003-04) Turkmenistan
7.         President Cup                                       :           (2003-04) Maldives (Gold Medal)
8.         Thailand Invitation                      :                  (2003-04)  ( Thailand )
9.         Afro Asian Games                                :           (2003-04)  ( Hyderabad ,India) (Silver Medal)
10.       Asian Club Championship:                   :          (2004-05)  ( Syria, Oman and Brunci)
11.       Exhibition  Tour                                   :            (2004-05) ( Hong Kong & Bangladesh)
12.       Asian Club Championship:                    :          (2005-06)  ( Singapore, Indonesia & Malaysia)
13.      Goodwill tour                                           :           (2005-06)  ( Singapore $ Thailand )
14.       Saffcup                                                  :         (2004-05) ( Bangladesh)
15.       Pre World Cup Qualifying Round          :         (2005-06) (  Japan, DPR Korea, Bangladesh)

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