by Jeff King
A question. Has a player from the Wearside League ever been called up for international duty? If the answer’s yes then we need to know who. If the answer is not then we can change it to yes following the call-up to the Kuwait Under-20 International squad for Abdullah Alawahdi.
The 18-year-old striker who represents Park View Academy as well as Chester-le-Street United in the Wearside League is currently playing for his country in the West Asian Football Federation 2nd Youth Championship being held in Iraq.
It’s a tremendous honour for Alawahdi who has scored 11 goals in 19 appearances across all competitions for United so far this season. It’s also further confirmation of the excellent project being put together by Chester-le-Street United as well as putting the Wearside League on the global map.
I caught up with Abdullah shortly after he left the North East to link-up with his National teammates to find out how he was feeling about the call-up and how he thought it had all come about.
“I was very happy to hear that I’d been called up. It’s always an honour to take part and be a part of your national team and represent your country. I was surprised that they called me up while I’m away from my country which is a different situation than the other players.”
“They booked me a flight ticket so I can attend the training sessions and the tournament but I also trust that the Kuwait Federation support the players who are working hard and watch, track the players status.”
“I and my family are very proud. Representing your country is always a proud moment for every player which is the dream of all the players an athlete around the world.”
It was also a real bonus for Alawahdi to know that despite being many miles from his home nation his federation were still keeping tabs on his progress.
“Well as I said before I trust that my country watch all the players. The Wearside league is a good competitive league which gives us a lot of experience on how the football in England is. Being at Park View Academy and Chester-le-Street United has helped my game a lot.”
“We have great staff, coach and manager who had a huge impact on our game and a quality players who are working hard to always take their game to the next level. For me I was happy to hear that my teammate Michael Spellman had a trial with one of the best professional academies in the north.”
“That gives us more confidence on our team and let us help each other to get on that professional football train. I really enjoy being part of it as well as the Academy where they deliver to us valuable courses which improve our sport mentality such as Active IQ diploma which I’m taking now.”
Abdullah came to Chester-le-Street from a very good sporting background which has earned him the right to develop his fledgling career.
“I was playing in Al-Qadsia SC which is one of the famous and best clubs in Kuwait. But since I was 10 years old my parents sent me to several countries to gain football skills, including France, Spain and UK.”
“After that, I made several trials in UK, and one of the scouts addressed my father to do a trial with Park View Academy and from there to the Chester-le-Street United club.”
Abdullah clearly has a football pedigree in his blood citing his grandfather as a major contributor to his football career. A man he misses dearly.
“The biggest influence in my career was my grandfather as he was famous football player in Kuwait who discovered and followed me and insisted that I learn football properly to allow me to become a professional footballer starting with nutrition to sport discipline.”
“But after my grandfather passed away from Covid-19, which was one of the worst thing that happened in my life, my parents continued to push me harder to reach my pro level and I’m always grateful to them.”
Abdullah outlined his hopes for the tournament and how important it was to his country as well as himself.
“I’m of course willing to win the tournament as a team to make my country, family and friends happy and proud, I hope as well to improve our game and gain a good experience and confidence to learn from our mistakes and be ready for the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers which will take part next year.”
As for his own personal hopes and aims for the future, Abdullah is aiming high to justify the faith his family have shown in him.
“My aim is to be a successful athlete such as Cristiano Ronaldo which is my idol, reach the top level of football, be the first Kuwaiti player to ever play be playing in this level. And the most important thing is to make my family proud and do what my Grandfather would be happy about if he was there.”
Abdullah Alawahdi is a very young man willing to make sacrifices to try and establish himself in the professional game. He has a wonderful level-headed attitude and a great level of commitment to his goals.
Park View Academy, Chester-le-Street United and The Wearside League can be very proud of this likeable affable young man and all wish him the very best for both the near and far future.