Chennai City FC frontman Syed Suhail Pasha has a huge legacy to carry forward as his father Syed Sabir Pasha had a decorated career with the Indian national team in the 1990s.
Although the Indian football fraternity is keeping a close watch on Suhail’s progression because of the heights his dad hit as a player, the 20-year-old attacker is taking it easy.
“I am under no pressure. I took to the sport because I have been in love with it right since childhood. I didn’t make football my profession just because of the fact that my father represented India,” Suhail told DT Next. “But, like every other player in the country, I wish to make a name for myself in Indian football,” he said.
Suhail came through the ranks at Indian Super League (ISL) club Chennaiyin FC before shifting his allegiance to Chennai City, for whom he made his I-League debut in the 2019-20 edition. Following a spell with the Under-18s, the youngster was promoted to the Chennaiyin ‘B’ team in 2018 and competed in the I-League Second Division.
In the 2019 summer transfer window, Suhail decided to move a step further, signing up for the CCFC first team, coached by Singaporean Akbar Nawas. “I made the jump to the CFC ‘B’ side two years back. Initially, I found the going tough as we were up against quality oppositions in the I-League 2nd Division. Last year, I moved up the ladder. I-League has been a challenge, but I have been able to manage it so far,” he added.
In his first season with Chennai City, Suhail produced one goal and two assists in 12 appearances across all competitions.
However, Sabir underlined that his son still has a long way to go, despite being proud of his career graph thus far. “He has the talent and his basics are very good. He is a sincere guy, but he has to put more effort. Playing in I-League last season was a great experience for him. Once he plays more matches, he will improve,” opined Chennaiyin senior team assistant coach Sabir.
During its off-season, the father-son duo reviews Premier League matches, in a bid to improve Suhail’s gameplay. “My dad supports Manchester United whereas I am a Liverpool fan. Only high-calibre players compete in PL. When I watch and analyse their moves with my father, I learn a lot,” revealed Suhail, who wants to prove a point in I-League and break into the national squad as soon as possible.
“I would be extremely happy if I get to watch him play live for India,” Sabir said before signing off.