Players should focus on performance instead of fame: Yan

May 30, 2019, Chandigarh


The Indian Origin former England U-17 Yan Dhanda is in India for a visit to his grandparents village in Punjab.

The 20 year old footballer who left Liverpool last year to join Swansea City interacted with the budding talents of the British School, Sector 44 and Punjab University.

His grandparents shifted to England in the late 1970’s and were keen lovers of football. His father Jash Dhanda, who also played football in his young age and now manages various academies, was born in England but did not forget about his roots back in Punjab. The legacy is now being carried forward by the young Yan of the Dhanda family, excited to visit his grandparents’ villages near Jalandhar and Phagwara.

“As far as my memory goes, my father is from village Kot Badal Khan (near Jalandhar) and my mother is from village Madhopur (Phagwara). Last year, I visited both the villages and it’s nice to get connected here. Yan insisted to come, so we are here. It’s a professional tour for Yan, but more than that an emotional memory to carry with him for the rest of his life,” said Jash Dhanda. Yan meanwhile played a friendly match at Panjab University in the evening after spending his morning interacting with the young players of The British School.

“My purpose is not only to get to know about the football culture here, but also to visit my grandparents’ birthplaces. I had the Indian flag with me while signing contracts with Liverpool and Swansea City, but there was much more excitement to know about my roots. It will be for the first time that I will be visiting those villages in Punjab,” said Yan.

Yan acknowledged the growth in Indian football, saying: “In recent years, we have seen the rise of Indian football. I will be visiting various academies in Punjab and will try to request Swansea City owners to open a talent scouting centre here.”

About choosing football as his career, Yan said it was natural to get attracted to the sport considering his background. “My father loves football and I was told that my grandparents were also equally inclined towards the sport. Obviously, my father had to struggle to settle down in England and perhaps he did not get the time to pursue his interest. However, I was lucky to get a nice breakthrough at a young age. The signing from West Bromwich Albion to Liverpool in 2013 is a day to remember. My father is proud of me and so would have been my grandparents,” said Yan.

“My suggestion for the young players would be that they should consider performance as top priority. No one gets overnight fame and this is what they need to understand. The money and social security will come at the right time, but only if they continue to perform well both on and off the field,” he said.

School: The British School

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