We might have been familiar with the story of M S Dhoni’s transformation from the role as a goalkeeper to wicketkeeper batsman in the early years of his career. He later went on to become one of the iconic figures of Indian and world cricket.
Here’s a similar story of a boy, who did the opposite by transforming himself into the role of goalkeeper from the role of wicket keeper. His name is Mirshad, the custodian of East Bengal.
Born in the soccer frenzy district of Kasargod, Mirshad was the youngest son of Ahamed and Nabeesa.Apart from the other children of his age , Mirshad’s early interest was towards Cricket, the popular sport in the country. He had developed an interest towards wicket keeping and fielding in his early years.He enjoyed his time as a cricketer, by making long dives to catch the ball.
While playing at the school ground, Physical education teacher Nidheesh B spotted his ability and asked him to take up role of Goalkeeper for the first time. Mirshad followed his instruction and decided to take up football for the first time in his life. Nidheesh selected him for the school football team and trained him as a goalkeeper.
From cricket to football
Following his coach’s instruction , Mirshad took up his place under the bar and hasn’t turned back ever since. Within three years after taking up football, he matured into a one of the best goalkeeper in the district. His instincts as a wicketkeeper has helped him during his career turnaround. He put in lot of efforts to establish himself in the new sport and his coach helped him a lot in that respect.
In the final year of his schoollife,Mirshad was called up to represent Kasargod senior district team. Though his district team won the championship, Mirshad’s role in the squad was of a benchwarmer. He won the state senior inter district championship later with the same district team, but this team as the first team goalkeeper. His performances in the championship helped Kasargod district to claim the championship once again.Meanwhile Mirshad was also called up to State u21 team.
Gaining match experience in sevens football
Like every footballers from the state, Mirshad also donned the colours of different sevens football clubs during his initial years. He started his career with Redstar Bangalam and went on to waer the colours of some of the big names of sevens football including Shooter’s Padanna, Hitachi FC Thrikkaripur and Mettamal Brothers Mettamal were among his employers. His goalkeeping abilities was spotted by former Indian defender Suresh during a football match and advised him to attend the selection trials of newly formed FC Bardez Goa.In the meantime he was also called up for Santhosh trophy camp but was unable to make it to the final squad.
Starting his professional career
Mirshad’s ability under the bar impressed FC Bardez coach Armando Colcao, and was selected for the first team. This was his first stint with a professional club during his career. He went from strength to strength under the guidance of his goalkeeping coach Chandrakanth Naik.Armando had full confidence in Mirshad’s ability and handed him the role as first team goalkeeper.
Return to homeland
Though Mirshad had offers from I-League side Churchill Brothers, he couldn’t sign for them due to injury. In the meantime Kerala club came calling in and he couldn’t resist as he decided to try his luck with newly formed Gokulam FC. His assurances in front of goal boosted the morale and confidence in his team.During his short stint with Gokulam FC he helped his side to reach the finals of State senior club football championship and the semi finals of Kerala Premier League.
Kolkata giants came calling in
Mirshad’s presence under the bar had caught the eyes of EastBengal scout Alvito D’Cunha. Alvito’s presence in EB’s coaching staff was one of the reason to lure him to Kolkota despite having good offers and assurances from Gokulam FC management.
It is learnt that Mirshad had signed a two year contract with the club and looks to continue his development and consistent performances for the Kolkota giants. The 23 year old will be part of EB’s I-League and CFL squad. He is excited about the new adventure and looks to seal his place in the first team with some good performances.
Within few years of taking up football, Mirshad established himself as one if the best goalkeepers in the country. His hard work and determination is the key factor behind his success. He has age on his side to carve out a brilliant career in Indian football. His success story is an inspiration for many aspiring footballers in the country.