How often does it happen? A talented lad wishes to play for his country, dreams of a debut in his own neighbourhood and finally arrives at the threshold of that glorious reality. Sounds utopian, doesn’t it? Knock on wood.
It’s our man Vineeth C. K., a gifted footballer from Kannur who plays in the I-League with Prayag United and has been named in the 23-member Indian squad for the international friendly against Palestine to be held in Kochi on February 6.
The winger who shot into fame with the now defunct Chirag United Kerala in the I-League had a splendid stint at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, venue for the Palestine match, in the 2011-12 season and has every right to dream big now.
“I am yet to know the details, but heard my name is in the squad. Wow, this is huge, really fantastic news,” said a humble Vineeth, who is home on a personal errand and is already desperate to get back to Kolkata.
Vineeth has been a wonderful acquisition for Prayag and has started in the flank in almost every match in the League this season. With a penchant for quick acceleration he has also scored four times for Eelco Schattorie’s side.
“I could never have asked for anything better. I am praying to get that one chance to be on the pitch in Kochi again. I’m very confident now and will give my best for my national team like I always did for my club,” he says.
While Vineeth is the only Malayali in the 23-member list, his Prayag teammate Asif K., a playmaker, is part of the standbys.
Japanese born Arata Izumi, who now holds Indian citizenship, has also been included in the squad.
It gives immense pleasure to every Keralite when one of them gains a call up and considering that in recent times only few from the south have made it to the top, Vineeth’s inclusion is a blessing, nevertheless a true recognition of talent.
Hopefully Dutchman Wim Koevermans has plans to let the boy start the game and see his best dream come to life.