Life changing experience for AJFC Munich-bound footballer
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Shankar P. Ghanais went from never having left the country to making trips to Bali, Indonesia and now Munich, Germany in the span of just 36 days.
The 16-year-old is one of three Malaysians who will represent the country at the Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC) 2016 in Munich, Germany from 25 to 30 August 2016. Shankar, along with Sharvin Selvakumaran (16) and Ruventhiran Vengadesen (15) were selected from 13 Malaysian talents to represent the country following a selection process at AJFC Asia 2016 (19-22 July 2016).
"When I got home from Bali, everyone was in tears, my mom, my brother. They knew how much this meant to me. Now, I can't wait to see the Allianz Arena. I've seen it on TV so I'm very excited I get to visit the stadium in person. Growing up in Malacca, the only other stadium I've seen is Stadium Hang Jebat. So, this is going to be awesome," said the Form Four student from SMK Seri Pengkalan in Alor Gajah, Malacca.
Having never had a passport, the experience of travelling overseas to Bali, Indonesia for the AJFC Asia 2016 was a daunting one. A short bout of homesickness was cured when he got onto the football field. Now, Shankar is buzzing with excitement and hopes to make the most of his experience in Munich.
"I'm really excited. I still go for my daily training for three to five hours. Football is in my blood, so I'm looking forward to the experience and meeting other young fooballers like myself at Munich. We may come from different backgrounds but we speak the universal language of football, so we'll have no trouble communicating," added the striker who comes from a football-loving family where his dad and two older brothers also play the sport.
AJFC Munich 2016 will feature 80 young footballers aged 14 to 16-years-old from all over the world including countries such as Argentina, England, Germany, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and more. During the camp, the young footballers will participate in daily training sessions which will culminate in a tournament on 29 August 2016. Part of the festivities at AJFC Munich includes get-together activities, watching FC Bayern Munich's Bundesliga opening match at the Allianz Arena, a meet and greet session with some of FC Bayern Munich players and a visit to the historic Olympic Park.
AJFC is an annual football event held globally since 2009 with AJFC Malaysia debuting in 2012 followed by AJFC Asia in 2014. In five editions, 4,185 young aspiring footballers have tried out at AJFC Malaysia. The AJFC Malaysia League 2016 was officially launched in kuala Lumpur on 16 February 2016. Teams of 18 players aged between 14 to 16 year olds participated in the six-league which kicked off on 2 April 2016.
The latest AJFC Munich 2016 updates, photos and videos can be found on Allinaz Malaysia's Facebook page at facebook.com/AllianzMalaysia or Instagram page at instagram/allianzmalaysia/.