Rovers For Life | Football Unites Us!

My Journey so Far! – Mehsum Mansoor

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Winning trophies from Pakistan to Canada !!!

Winning trophies from Pakistan to Canada !!!

It all started back in 2008 when I joined a prestigious club by the name of FC Rovers.

Sports have always been in my blood coming from a family of athletes. My father a great cricketer himself who played for Pakistan ‘A’ cricket team with the likes of Javed Miadad, Majid Khan and Moin Khan etc. My aunt being a former Pakistan No.1 in Table Tennis player so sports was always in me.

I started playing Football when I was about 15 and used to play with some local friends in Phase-1, Malir Cantt. Football was always on my everyday chores from 4:00-7:30 pm and we made up a local team by the name of ‘Target X1.’ The mere purpose was for friends to get together in the evening and do some physical exercises and Football was the perfect way. One thing led to another and we soon saw ourselves playing in tournaments and although we weren’t a strong side back then we were still pretty decent.
The Road for FC Rovers started in Aug 2007 when I came to know about the club and found out they used to practice near by so Ioften used to drop by to watch them train. I got a hold of the captain’s phone number and asked him if there was any chance that I could join the club, surprisingly enough the captain (Ammar Shareef) knew who I was since Target XI and FC Rovers played a couple of friendly matches.
My break through came after a year when in May-June 2008 FC Rovers were having their trials at Agha Khan Football ground at 7:00am in the morning. I still remember me and my brother packing up our bags and being at the ground early for the try outs.
Soon after Ammar Shareef and the rest of the crew were in the ground and we were being put through drills and small 5v5 games. I didn’t get an answer from the captain at that time if I made the cut or not but he said if you’re selected you’ll get a text message.
It wasn’t too long when I got the text and soon I started training with the club. The club had the likes of Awais Noor, Osama Noor, Tehseen Ghaffar, Irfan Junejo, Ammar Shareef and other good, dedicated players.
I got my first call for a friendly match against Steel Mill and did fairly good in the game.
After that game i’ve always been a starter for the team. The ideal position I Love to play is in the heart of defense; center back was my preferred position but I could play on the left or right side of the defense too.

With FC Rovers I started getting more respect in my local team Taget XI and whole of Phase-1 since I was the only player to be playing for FC Rovers at that time from the area and playing with FC Rovers had a drastic improvement on my game. I was then registered as a District player and went on to play in almost all parts of Karachi with the club.
We won some and lost some but always used to be a hard side to play against for our opponents. I still remember after every game Ammar Shareef the captain of the club used to sit us down and tell us what we did wrong and that was the reason we always used to have our feet on the ground. Ammar Shareef has played a very important part in making us the players that we are today, he’s devoted alot of time, energy and passion to keep us as a complete family and a competitive football club.

Getting into my school team wasn’t easy since the Football coach who didn’t knew that I was playing for FC Rovers said that I wasn’t good enough for the school team without even trying me out. Luck played an important part when FC Rovers played against the school team and the coach wasn’t impressed after seeing me start for Rovers.
We absolutely thrashed the school team and the next day I was selected for my school team.

I joined IoBM’s football team for a year before moving to Canada and in that 1 year that I played for the IoBM football team we won the Agha Khan University Championship. All the top universities of the city took part in that competition and we came out as the winner, I was also lucky to have another FC Rovers team mate in the IoBM team Irfan Junejo.
Me and Irfan went on to play for the Pakistan U-18 Asian Schools Championship together and we’ve pretty close friends on and off the field since then.

While playing in China for U-18 I got an offer from one of the Brunei’s Football club but had to turn it down because of studies.
I was lucky enough to get an offer to play for National Bank but had to turn that down as well because of study commitments.

I’ve tried my luck in a Canadian League as well and have been a winner there and it wouldn’t have been possible if I didn’t play for FC Rovers.
The road hasn’t been simple; there have been lots of injuries and set backs and you don’t always get the praise and limelight that you deserve specially if you’re a defender. I’ve lived by an important rule in life “always keep your head high and come back hard and stronger than before”, “Loosing is not a option”, “If you draw a match, it means you’ve lost a match.”
To this day I share a very good bond with my team mates whenever I come back to Pakistan for a visit I make sure I train atleast once with the club and meet the players.

Currently I’m a Software Developer for IBM and play 3 leagues in Toronto, Canada
I am Mehsum Mansoor Naqvi and this has been my journey so far.

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