INDIAN FOOTBALL

Shahnaz Iqbal’s legacy in Kashmir football lives on

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Shahnaz Iqbal was the former captain of the J&K Bank FC. And a former player for the J&K football team,. He is carrying on his legacy by coaching the Union Territory’s most successful football club.

Shahnaz is among a select number of great athletes who have gone on to find success as instructors. After taking over as coach, the Jammu-born former J&K Bank star player has transformed Bank FC into a strong force that has almost won every championship that was up for grabs in the local circuit during the previous season.

It’s a common misconception in sports that successful athletes don’t always make good coaches. Shahnaz Iqbal’s case is one of the more unusual in J&K. Mehraj ud Din Wadoo is the only other successful player in J&K who has also found success teaching.

Shahnaz ventured into teaching after retiring as a professional player and has been taking coaching courses with the All India Football Federation. He is now the AFC B License coach. He was named head coach of the J&K Bank Football club last season.

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Shahnaz Iqbal

The other players have yet to show their coaching abilities. The successful coaches were not all-star players when they were younger. In the past, one might recall that former India football team captain Abdul Majeed Kakroo was also a successful coach.

Shahnaz Iqbal, a Jammu native, captained both the J&K football team and J&K Bank FC throughout his playing career.

He began his football career with Vijay Club Jammu before joining J&K Bank FC. Shahnaz was an active player for Bank for over 17 years and led the team for around five years. J&K Bank FC was his captaincy during his tenure.

Under his leadership tenure, J&K Bank FC transformed into a powerful J&K football team that shone both in and out of the state.

Shahnaz Iqbal had formerly represented Mohammedan Sporting Kolkata

“I was sent for Kolkata tryouts by Kamaljeet Singh and I was picked for the team by none other than Indian football icon Habib sir. “I went on to play for the Kolkata giants in the B-Division League, I-League, Federation Cup, IFA Shield, and many more events,” Shahnaz explained.

“Aside from that, I played in the Durand Cup and the Santosh Trophy for J&K before hanging up my boots in 2013. When we hosted the Santosh Trophy in 2008, I was captain of the J&K squad. It is a memory I will never forget, and it is the pinnacle of my playing career. Captaining the J&K squad in front of home supporters was a dream come true. He we went on to make the entire state proud by qualifying for knockouts at the time “He stated.

“After getting my AFC-B licence, I was offered the position of assistant coach for my hometown team, J&K Bank FC. Before being named head coach, I worked for a number of years under Hilal Paray. Working as an assistant coach under an experienced head coach before being given the opportunity to be the primary coach myself was a fantastic experience “Shahnaz said.

Shahnaz stated that after taking over as head coach of J&K’s top squad, he has attempted to transform it into a force to be reckoned with

“When I was a player, everyone looked at J&K Bank FC. Everyone wanted to beat us, and that is still the case today. It’s still the same squad, and the legacy lives on. Carrying on that tradition and supremacy is a significant responsibility. Despite the fact that there were few events last season, we won the 2nd Positive Kashmir Tournament, the 1st Industrial Tournament in Baramulla, and the 1st Atal Bihari Vajpayee Memorial Tournament in Jammu. We were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Police Memorial Tournament “Shahnaz said.

When asked to differentiate between a successful player and a coach, he stated, “When you’re a player, you don’t have to worry about anything. You simply need to concentrate on your own performance and team strategy. Yet, as a coach, you must attend to every tiny and large detail, both on and off the field. As responsibilities grow, so does the workload. The most crucial aspect is player management. But having been captain and working with elite coaches has helped me,” he remarked. According to Shahnaz, the core team and support level of J&K Bank management have helped Bank FC become a strong squad throughout the years.

“The team’s core support crew is assisting it in maintaining supremacy. J&K Bank management has also been really helpful. “Our squad has been receiving top-tier facilities from management, which has helped players perform well,” Shahnaz remarked.

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