Srinagar: It is second consecutive year and there is no Forest-XI football team player in the Santosh Trophy squad.
Only few years ago, State Santosh trophy team used to be filled with bunch of Forest-XI players and they were considered as cream of JK football. Though there used to be questions raised about the majority being from Forest but never J&K Football Association budge under pressure.
During that period, J&K Football Association, President Zamir Thakur used to be heading the Forest-XI football team being employee of Forest department. However, since the time he opted for voluntarily retirement from Government service, Forest-XI players are not getting any special treatment. Leave aside special treatment they are unable to even get treatment at the hands of JKFA or selectors.
“Till the time JKFA President used to be part of Forest team, it was best team of State. However, after leaving it, the team has suddenly turned out be without any talent. It is same team and same players, only JKFA president are not part of the team,” said football follower.
Forest-XI team is facing lot of hardships owing to the lack of departmental support. Even the players are yet to get regularized in their service and Thakur’s leaving the team did not helped the cause.
“He has left department for his better good leaving players in lurch. Players are yet to get regularized and the Forest-XI football side may seize to exist anytime soon. If during his time the same players were better than other players who are in Santosh trophy squad, why they are not now,” said another football follower.
If we take look at the Forest team, there are still couple players who deserved to be part of Santosh trophy probable squad. The reason why they have been left out of the team is a question to answer for JKFA.
“There are still footballers in Forest team who are worth to be part of the Santosh trophy team. This season no event was held so no one can predict who their performance would have been. But owing to past performance and talent they deserved to be part of the team,” said a JKFA member.