Nepal football has been stronger in the age groups as compared to the senior’s for a very long time. But, the problem lies in the continuity of the young players from the age groups to the senior team. Stakeholders irresponsibility to lack of secure future for the players except the playing 11 of the national team may be some of those reasons responsible for lack of continuity.
To discuss more about the football in age group level, ANFA’s facilities and many other things, we had a question and answer session with Pradip Lamsal, U-16 Captain of Nepal football.
How long has it been since you started playing football ?
It’s been around 5 years.
What motivated you to come into football and to be a footballer ?
It just happened. I was watching the matches of Nepal in the SAFF championship of 2013. While I was watching those matches, I felt from deep inside that I will be representing the nation. That is when, I started to struggle more on my skills and kept on practising.
I went to Korea from U12 team. Afterwards, I was also called for U16 team. My struggle is still on.
What about your future plans ?
For now, I don’t have much to say. I am always eager to make my nation proud. To add more, I want to be the captain of the national team in future.
What do you remember about the tournament in Korea ?
It was more like festival to me. There were 65 countries as participants and we went on to be second in that tournament.
You are a product of ANFA, so what is different about being a player from ANFA ?
To be honest, they make you learn the basic skills. Basic skills are the foundation of footballing career. Not just that, I get to learn so many new things day in and day out. I also tend to think that, without ANFA, it would be a completely different story. They have helped me in so many ways.
How difficult is it to take football and education together ?
Being at ANFA Academy, we train 4 hours a day, 2 in the morning and 2 after school. I would say, time has been properly managed in such a way that football doesn’t hamper our education.
Did your family support you through all this ?
In fact, my brother was the only to support initially. But, once I got called for U12, my whole family support me being involved in football.
Who is your favorite football player ?
In Nepal, I love Bimal Gharti Magar, I am inspired from his play. In international level, I am a big fan of Messi and Xavi.