Fatorda: As the referee blew the final whistle to mark the end of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) Sub Junior final supporters of Reliance Foundation Young Champs jumped into the playing field screaming and flaying their arms. Their joy – the reliance team was captained by Narendra Naik of Goa.
“He joined Reliance Foundation when he was twelve. It has been two years that he has been with the foundation in Mumbai. I miss my son at home but seeing him do so well makes me proud. I am happy that my son is fulfilling his dreams he set out to achieve,” said Jivan Naik, mother of Narendra after his club was crowned the champion Sub Junior Club of India.
Narendra started as a striker for Goa Football Development Council (GFDC) and was the highest goal scorer for the GFDC team in the U-10 tournament four years back. “My son was then picked up by Reliance during one of their trials in Goa and has been with them for the last two years. He will be with the foundation till standard XII,” said Narendra’s father Samir who hails from Sangolda.
“My son phones me every day. He is enjoying his stay in Mumbai and always tells me over the phone not to worry about him. He inquires about us and wants to know how his younger sister is doing. He is focused on his football and his studies. He is enjoying himself and as a mother, I want my son to enjoy what he is doing,” said Jivan.
“As a youngster, I noticed an interest in football in him and that is why I used to take him for all the inter village matches with me. He slowly started showing skills with the ball. My nephew will one day be a great footballer,” thinks Narendra’s uncle Shivanand as he takes a break from screaming support to his nephew’s team.
“My son comes home for Diwali and the Christmas vacation. That is the only time he spends with us at home. He is with the Foundation for the rest of the time,” said Jivan.