Netan Sansara’s ‘honour’ at Asian Football Award nomination

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Asian Today Columnist in line for top award

ASIAN Today Columnist Netan Sansara has described being nominated for an Asian Football Award as an “absolute honour”.

The 22-year-old will go up against the likes of Zesh Rehman and Michael Chopra in the Player of the Year category at the Asian Football Awards at Wembley on 24 January.

The first of its kind, the Asian Football Awards will honour leading British Asians in the game from players through to support staff and grassroot heroes.

Sansara, who became the first British Asian to play in the Cyprus league when he made the switch to Division 2 side Paeek FC last summer, admits it would be a “fantastic achievement” if he landed the coveted award.

He said: “It’s an absolute honor to be nominated; a great feeling. It’s good to know that wherever I am playing my football and my performances are being recognised. It’s always good to be nominated for such awards and it gives confidence to push on and achieve even more and get better at my game.

“There are some big names that I am up against but for me on a personal note obviously winning the category would be a fantastic achievement. Saying that I know I am a baby in football terms compared to some of the ages of the players I’m up against so in that sense it’s an honor to be in the category.

“If it’s not this year maybe in the future I can get my hands on the Award. It’s about just being recognized for what I have done. We are all winners for just being nominated so best of luck to everyone and we are all worthy winners in our own right.”

Unfortunately for Netan football commitments mean he will be unable to fly into London for the event but will have his agent and father in the audience.

And he’s all praise for the Asian Football Awards, an initiative he believes can help motivate more youngsters to be part of the sport.

“It’s great for promoting Asians in football,” Netan said.

“It is going to take time to get the word across and to get more Asians into football, but with events like this every year it will only help.”

And Netan hopes players like himself and fellow nominees Zesh Rehman and Michael Chopra can act as role models for youngsters eager to get into the game.

“When I was growing up there were no Asian role models for me to look up to. “Nowadays kids can see people like myself, Zesh and Michael and think I want to be like that someday and I want to play football at a professional level.

“Being Asian is not a boundary anymore for the youngsters and events like this can help eradicate such thoughts.”

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