Azman and Aysha, two siblings who share a deep passion for football, have been a part of NLSM for the past six months. Despite being only two years apart in age, they have formed a strong bond and serve as each other’s biggest support system on and off the field. These students of Hurdco International School not only share the same love for the sport, but they also support the same teams when watching football.
Our interview with Azman and Aysha gave us a glimpse into their unique perspectives as athletes and siblings, and we were delighted to learn more about what makes them stand out in the world of football.
What encouraged you both to start playing football?
Azman: I always had a passion to play football and it is my dream to play professionally. I tried to join other clubs but then NLSM felt like the best choice. Our parents have always encouraged us to play ever since we were children. My dream is to play for Manchester City.
Aysha: Once I saw my brother playing football, I found it very interesting. I really wanted to join a club and start playing as well.
Azman, how does it feel to know that your sister is also motivated by your enthusiasm in football?
Azman: It feels amazing. I train her a lot and give her instructions and advice on how to play as a defender or how to improve as a defender. I also try to motivate her and give guidelines on how to behave properly in training sessions.
That is great to hear. Do you guys have a preferred position that you want to play in?
Aysha: I like playing in a defensive role because I find it very interesting. In my previous club, they assigned me to play in midfield, but I did not enjoy it as much. From the very beginning, I knew I wanted to play in defense.
Azman: I love Kevin De Bruyne and like him, I like playing midfield. However, I like to attack and defend so I am not entirely sure which role would be the most suitable for me. I am willing to play in any position my team needs me to.
Do you guys play or practice any drills together?
Azman: Yes, at home, we go to the roof to practice. Whenever we get a chance, we practice with cones and ladders, whatever gear we can find. We get to play football at school as well, and I started playing in the school team.
Aysha: I try to join him whenever I can. I always try to follow what he is doing because I believe he knows more about football than I do. I want to encourage him as he encourages me. I also play at school.
Do you guys support any football clubs and if so, are there any rivalries at home when your teams play?
Azman: We both support Manchester City so there is no rivalry between us.
Aysha: However, my mother supports Brazil and my father is an Argentina fan, so there is a rivalry during the World Cups.
Did you guys watch the world cup and if so, which team did you support and why?
Azman: Yes, we did. We were both supporting Belgium.
Aysha: Both of us love Kevin De Bruyne. He is our favorite player and we wanted to support his team.
How are you both managing your studies and playing football at the same time?
Azman: Aysha is in grade four and I am in grade seven, so at the moment, Aysha has less pressure from school so she can manage the time. I play at school and some other tournaments, so I have to manage my timetable accordingly.
Aysha, it’s very normal to not want to go to every training session after school and stay at home but your attendance is brilliant. Aside from seeing Azman attend all his training sessions, what else motivates you to continue to show up at these sessions?
Aysha: I really do not want to miss practice because once I started going to NLSM, I realized everyone is very friendly and I like the environment. They train very well, and I want to improve myself even more. I have made some good friends there and I enjoy my sessions.
Now, for some quick-fire questions for both of you. Do you have any favorite food?
What kind of music do you both listen to?
Aysha: I like listening to anything that is inspiring. There are so many football songs, but I also like Heavy Metal. I also play the piano and drums.
Azman: For me, it depends on where I am going and what my mood is. If I am going to play football, I will also listen to some football songs. I usually listen to Drake before football.