Kolhapur lad heading for Lancashire 

Mumbai: The son of a rickshaw driver, Aniket Jadhav, will become the first Indian professional player to train in England when he joins the Blackburn Rovers Academy at Brockhall village, Lancashire, in United Kingdom. Jadhav, the FIFA under-17 World Cup Indian team member and now with Jamshedpur FC, has reached great heights since joining the India U17 squad, but kept his feet firmly on the ground.

And his call, a three-month training stint at English Championship football club Blackburn Rovers, has yet again opened new vistas in the Indian football.  “It is a proud moment for us and the entire country, said his father Anil Jadhav while talking to the Free Press Journal, on the eve of his son’s departure to Lancashire in the early hours of Wednesday.

It has been a rough journey from Kolhapur to Lancashire for Aniket, who was spotted by Jaideep Angiwal at the Krida Prabodhini in Pune; he had then moved to Pune FC where he joined the under-15 side before progressing to the India Under-17 side for the Junior World Cup which was held in India.

“My father has done everything for us from waking me up in the morning and driving the rickshaw; now it is my turn to give it back to him,” said Aniket while talking to this reporter. Jadhav thanked Balaji Rao, owner of Blackburn Rovers Football Club, his agent Jehan Kothary of KSMN sports, and Jamshedpur FC for the support.

Mukul Choudari of Jamshedpur FC hailed Jadhav’s achievement. “We are very happy for Aniket. In fact, very rarely do Indian football players get such an opportunity and, if they get it at this age, it is just fantastic, as this will only help him grow and enhance his skills further,’’ said Choudari while talking to the Free Press Journal from Jamshedpur.

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