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I bunked examinations to play hockey: Affan Yousuf (11/1/2013)
--Tazeen Qureshy
I bunked examinations to play hockey: Affan Yousuf

Services of Affan Yousaff will be missed when India embarks another shot at Asian Champions Trophy this week in Japan.

However, the young lad, not considered for the team even as Junior National Team was fielded with Manpreet at the helm, takes things in his own stride.

"Every player aims to represent his country in important tournaments. It is the same with me. But, it is a tough competition out there. I am not taking anything in my mind. My only work is to play well and help my country win. At my end, I will try to give my best whenever given a chance", he said on asked his reaction for getting the selectors' nod for Japan trip.

undefined Affan Yousuf, the seventeen year-old lad from Bhopal, was vice-captain to the Junior Indian team that won the Sultan Johor Cup at Johor Baru earlier last month. This was his third major tournament since the Murugappa Cup in 2010 and 3rd Senior Nationals where he represented Air India.

“It was an honor for me to be appointed as the Vice-Captain. Since we have prepared well for the tournament, we expected positive results,” said Affan who has also played for the Bhopal Junior team not long ago.

Affan assisted captain Manpreet Singh for the tour; and said the below before team departure: “We have a good team. Manpreet, Mandeep and Malak have just returned from Asia cup. Their inputs are helping us a lot in the field. Our coaches have also trained us well,” he says.

And it proved to be so at Johor Bahru

Born into the hockey family like most of the hockey stars, A­­­­­­ffan’s entry into hockey was natural. He credits his family for the success he has achieved till date. “My grandfather Khuda Dad, father Mohammad Yousuf and uncle Sameer Dad have played for the country. My brother Imran also plays for the national team. So, hockey came naturally to me,” he says.

In fact his interest in the game ran so deep that he didn’t mind bunking exams just to play hockey. “I have bunked exams many times to play hockey, let go classes,” he laughs off.

Affan has played for the Bhopal Badshahs in World Series Hockey under the captaincy of his uncle Sameer.

“My father and uncle keep advising me on my game. For this particular tour, they have advised me to remain confident and give my best. I hope to live up to the expectations of my family and coaches,” he signs off.

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