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Third from right, Farukh Choudhary celebrating after winning the tournament with local club Ambernath United.
Third from right, Farukh Choudhary celebrating after winning the tournament with local club Ambernath United.

The rise of a young footballer from Mumbai’s Ambernath to the hustle and bustle of the ISL. Mumbai Football’s newest star to make it to the Indian national team – Farukh Choudhary.

ISL side Jamshedpur FC’s Farukh Choudhary recently won his first cap for the India U-23 side in SAFF Cup. The young striker’s performances for the Jamshedpur side caught the eyes of national coach Stephen Constantine.

However, the journey to reach the pinnacle, the Indian national football team has been nothing short of an adventure. Farukh Choudhary started his footballing career in Ambarnath, in the east of Mumbai with a local club called Diamonds. Choudhary used to travel a distance of 60kms from Ambarnath to Borivali to play football and attend trials for clubs like Mumbai FC.

At the Diamonds club, Farukh flourished in the local tournaments in and around Ambarnath and was soon selected for the Maharashtra Under-19 side as well.

Farukh Choudhary for Pune FC Pc PFC
Young Farukh Choudhary in yellow can be seen playing for Pune FC outh team. Pic Courtesy : Pune FC

His first sojourn in Mumbai football was with Central Bank of India, which played in the Elite Division, the highest division of the Mumbai District Football Association (MDFA)’s league structure. With his continued progress, he moved on to Pune FC Academy after a good showing at the National School Games. However, the club decided to shut shop and Farukh moved on to new frontiers.

Farukh’s coach Naushad Moosa suggested him to move to Lonestar Kashmir Football Club, a club operating in the I-League 2nd Division, the second tier of the Indian football structure. Farukh featured in fifteen matches in his debut season for the Srinagar-based club and scored five goals.

Farukh Choudhary at Lonestar Kashmir FC. Pic Courtesy : Sportsline J&K
Farukh Choudhary at Lonestar Kashmir FC. Pic Courtesy : Sportsline J&K

Incidentally, Farukh was registered in the state and was eligible to represent Jammu and Kashmir in the Santosh Trophy, the national level football competition. Farukh chose to play for Jammu and Kashmir and the decision gave immediate dividends as he got an offer to join Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters FC.

The young Farukh had a tough time to get games for the Kerala Blasters FC but played two matches and used the experience as a learning curve in his nascent career. Farukh was then sent on loan to Mumbai FC, his hometown I-League club where he was called up by Santosh Kashyap after watching him play in local matches in the city.

Farukh Choudhary in yellow at Mumbai FC. Pic Courtesy : Mumbai FC
Farukh Choudhary No 17, in yellow at Mumbai FC. Pic Courtesy : Mumbai FC

Farukh played the entire season for the Mumbai FC side but unfortunately, the club was relegated from the I-League and decided to shut shop as well. This meant that Farukh was up for a new challenge again and a perfect opportunity arose with Jamshedpur FC, the newest club to join the Indian Super League. Farukh was picked up by the club in the ISL Draft and currently plays for the club in the fifth season of the ISL.

Farukh Choudhary celebrating after scoring against Northeast United FC. Pic Coutesy : ISL Media
Farukh Choudhary celebrating after scoring against Northeast United FC. Pic Coutesy : ISL Media

Choudhary recently scored his second goal for the Jamshedpur FC against Delhi Dynamos in a 2-1 win at home. This goal marks just the beginning of a promising career for the young striker who has risen through the ranks to reach the highest stage in the Indian football.

Mumbai has produced a lot of footballers to flourish on the national stage with the most notable name being Steven Dias. What the future holds for the young man from Ambarnath is to be seen, but it certainly looks bright for Farukh Choudhary in the Indian blues.

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