Central midfielder Raj Vijayarajah, who lives in St George’s Road, has been crowned the winner of the Search For An Asian Football Star contest, beating more than 500 other young players in the under-16 category. Mayfield School pupiil Raj, 16, said his victor was a “dream come true”. The teenager will now get the chance to train at the FA’s St George’s Park Centre of Excellence in Burton-on-Trent, as well as a week with top coaches at the TradeNext FootballCV Academy.
“The prizes are amazing,” said Raj. “I was shocked when my name was announced as the winner. But I think the judges saw my hunger and passion during the final.”All 40 finalists who competed at Wembley Powerleague on Saturday will be invited to a trials day in front of top talent scouts at Dagenham and Redbridge FC in March. Arsenal FC scout Tony Day, top freestyler Abbas Farid, BBC Asian Network presenter Noreen Khan and TradeNext chief executive officer Mohsin Jameel formed the judging panel at Wembley Powerleague on Saturday.
Abbas said: “Raj stood out in his age group during the final. But it wasn’t an easy decision. “The standard of football was exceptionally high, it took us a while to agree that Raj deserved to be crowned the SFAAFS winner.”
Raj entered the SFAAFS at the London Docklands event last month [October], and immediately caught the eye of the FA-qualified coaches. In the Final he stood out in the Under-16 category against nine other top players from across the country. Raj received his Under-16 Winner’s Cup and the SFAAFS Overall Winner’s Cup from TradeNext CEO Mohsin Jameel.
Mohsin said: “This has been an exceptional success as a first-time sporting event for our company. We are already enjoying a Preferred Partnership with Derby County Football Club. “We are enormously proud of our Search For An Asian Football Star competition – and very impressed by the standard of the players we have seen.”
Source : PTI