LoneStar Kashmir FC provides solace after trauma of flood
Jammu & Kashmir, India's Crown sitting pretty atop, has always played its part with picturesque images of the 'Switzerland of the East'. Nevertheless, amongst an array of picture perfect moments, one, in recent time, stands out. The sight of LoneStar Kashmir FC, tearing down the opposition, dictating play, jotting down passes together whilst capturing the audience with their mesmerizing style of play, is no less than inspirational; all doing justice to the old adage: 'Football: A Beautiful Game'.
And it's all happening in the AIFF Under-19 League at the Ambedkar Stadium in the Capital.
Like all things magical, the inception of LoneStar Kashmir FC was triggered after torrid times. The Team was formed after a turbulent September (2014) period, which witnessed absolute mayhem caused due to floods. Needless to say, J&K's first professional Team ever to take part in a National Level Competition has also provided residents of the State with reason to cheer - apart from inspiration and the will to hold firm, even after suffering the wrath of Nature.
LoneStar popularizing football in Kashmir
"We came out of a trauma, the floods. It was difficult but we came out of it and I am very much pleased with this," asserts LoneStar Kashmir FC's Coach Hilal Parray.
However, Parray explains how difficult it was to lead the young contingent out of the trauma and himself understands that it was self-motivation which helped the Players even in troubled times.
"I admit it was very difficult to motivate the team," he nods. "But, I told them that if they continue to rue the flood, they will not be able to live their life."
"They had to get out of that zone; they had to live their lives. The floods were not the end of the World," elaborates an animated Parray. "I told them that it was pertinent to build their profile as Footballers, shine and make their parents proud"
But it wasn't that easy. Football grounds were destroyed in the wake of the calamity and much to everyone's frustration, there wasn't much options to train. In such a situation, LoneStar Kashmir FC provided solace.
"Football is the craze at the moment in the State," Hilal continues, explaining how Football has pipped Cricket as the State’s No. 1 sport.
"LoneStar represents everyone; it’s Kashmir's own Club. Every Footballer represents 5 lakh Kashmiris," he quips, adding that he wants to make LonsStar the 'best in India'.
"I think we are governed by brotherhood. It is a collective effort rather than a single one. All these boys come from low middle class families. They want to excel in the sport and I will help them. I want to make them the best in the Country."
Football gave us reason to live: Wasiq
The Players complements their Coach. Wasiq, one of LoneStar's shining stars agrees that the Club has added a new dimension to his life informing about the journey that has been magical so far.
"Football and LoneStar have given a new meaning to my life. I thank my Coach for drawing me out of that flood zone and giving me a motive, to live. I have rediscovered myself; in fact, all of us have rediscovered ourselves. Thank you Football!"
"The focus is on the grassroots and this is just the beginning," Hilal prophecies. LoneStar seems like the 'pole star' in Kashmir, which is triggering a Football revolution.