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Akshay Mall declined East Bengal offer

DNAHM30471 | 4/11/2010 | Author : Nikhilesh Pathak | WC :282

For a young footballer in the subcontinent playing for Kolkata giants Kingfisher East Bengal Football Club is a dream. And it needs courage to say no to them.
Surprisingly, Akshay Mall, a young midfielder from Vadodara has dared to say no. It is to be recalled the 18-year-old has been named among the 24 probables selected by the All India Football Federation, which is mulling to field its own team as a franchisee in the I-League from next season.
The AIFF club will have all the amenities as per AFC and FIFA guidelines and the endeavour is to prepare a core group of players who will be ready by 2018 to represent the country in the World Cup qualifiers.
“The East Bengal management did contact me before I was shortlisted for the AIFF team. But I said no owing to the politics played at the club,” said Akshay. Akshay's father who played Santosh Trophy and missed the professional league bus by whisker supported his son's decision.
“I completely agree with his decision. Moreover, the club prefers senior professionals to and it is very difficult for a junior to make a cut in the playing eleven,” said senior Mall, who had an offer from JCT during his playing days.
Had Akshay said yes to East Bengal, he might have played alongside India's football captain Baichung Bhutia.
“That's true. He is really an inspirational figure. Have interacted with him in the past. Bhutia is a good motivator,” said Akshay.
Meanwhile, the Malls are also mulling over an overseas project. “Europe is best place to train. And I would love to train and study in United Kingdom,” said Akshay who is keeping his fingers crossed.

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