17-Year-Old Burnley Defender
The Premier League will have another British Asian football player in the form of 17-year-old Waqas Azam. Currently playing for Burnley FC, the team who were recently promoted to the Premier League this season, the Burnley born defender becomes the latest British Asian in the league.
The welcoming news is a lift for Asian youngsters across the UK and a giant leap forward for auspicious teenagers wanting to enter the
industry. His agent, Lawyer Shehneela Ahmed, who became the world’s first Asian female football agent, had said she would do whatever it takes to deliver on her promise in finding new talent and taking them to the Premier League, a accomplishment she has already achieved well ahead of her schedule.
She said, “Waqas Azam has a great future which lies ahead of him and will be a great role model for Asian youngsters across the UK.”
Talking about her looking forward to working with a range of footballers from all levels, she added, “It’s a challenge for me and I am looking forward to this. To date I have been dealing with hard-core criminals so what can be so difficult when it comes to dealing with footballers, managers and agents. I have to start from somewhere.”
The female football agent believes that training programmes across the UK and abroad are currently offering young and inspiring footballers a unique opportunity to gain insights from professional footballers.”
Shehneela said, “One must realise that youth development programmes are an important stepping stone to one day playing professionally. Talent alone is no longer enough. Desire and commitment are the most important attributes for young footballers – if you are good enough and you will make it. In my last few visits to football clubs and academies, I have seen some great young players, their touch and control is impressive. I have enjoyed the fact that they are all so keen to learn and experiment. With myself making my presence, I hope that visits like this further inspire these youngsters to be great. One of the most important things I have learned is that every coach needs a motivational plan. Motivational is critical and is the key to success. Motivation is what makes us want to do things. It is the difference between doing something with enthusiasm, giving 100% and having a good attitude or just doing the minimum with a bad attitude. I think the best way to motivate young football players is through positive reinforcement, incentives and rewards that motivate them to do things you want them to do.”