Saturday, August 27, 2022
KARACHI: Nadia Khan, the British-Pakistani footballer who is selected for Pakistan’s women football team to play in the SAFF Women Cup, said she feels proud to represent Pakistan and can’t wait to be with her teammates.
Nadia is based in Leeds, UK, and plays for Doncaster Rovers Belles. She was named by the Pakistan Football Federation in the 23-member squad for the SAFF championship to be played in Nepal from 6th September.
The 21-year-old midfielder will soon fly to Kathmandu where she’ll join the squad led by Maria Khan for her debut international event in Pakistan colours.
In an exclusive interview with Geo News, Nadia spoke about her journey, her thoughts on being picked for Pakistan and her aims for the future.
“My family and I are so proud for me to represent Pakistan in the upcoming tournament and I'm so excited and can't wait to be with my teammates and have a great time. It's a whole different experience. I can't wait to be over there playing and representing Pakistan,” she added.
“I think playing at an international level like that, will help attract British South Asian girls to join football and play, any sports even. But I'm so happy and so proud to be representing Pakistan,” Nadia highlighted.
Nadia Khan began her football career at the Leeds United regional talent centre and was signed by Doncaster Rovers in 2017 when she joined the development side.
In 2018, she joined her teammates in moving to the first team to compete in the FA Women's Northern Premier Division.
However, she has set her eyes on playing in the Women Super League.
“My ambitions have always been high in football. And, I believe that one day I will be playing for a team InshaAllah in the WSL. I hope to continue playing at international level and for Pakistan, and see where the future takes me and what the future holds,” Khan said.
Khan said she fell in love with football when she was 11 or 12, watching Neymar and Ronaldo attracted her to play the game herself.
She also highlighted how her family, originally from Pakistan, helped her in her football career.
Nadia became eligible to play for Pakistan due to her parents’ heritage.
“I probably fell in love with football at the age of around 11 or 12, when my older brother taught me how to play football in the garden, and then watching on YouTube, the likes of Neymar, Ronaldo watching how they played football, the fantasy side of football and their different skills and tricks. I think that helped me gain interest into that side and attracted me to play football myself,” she recalled when asked about how she started playing Football.
“My family have always been supportive of me playing football at this level. I think it's clear to see when my dad takes me to every single training session, and my mom takes me to every single match. And that support has helped me to fall in love with football even more. And I'm grateful and blessed to have my family supporting me, and proud of my achievements academically and in sports,” she concluded.