S. Bhaskar Reddy: A Journey from Oblivion to Renewed Vigour

Bhaskar Reddy, a professional footballer for Fateh Hyderabad Football Club, on the second division I-league 2015 roster, comes from a poor family in Anantapur. His former coach at Rural Development Trust’s (RDT) Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA), P. Vijayabhaskar describes him saying, “Bhaskar will be key, as Fateh Hyderabad are looking to build a formidable side for the future. He is a role model for youngsters at the Anantapur Sports Village (ASV) football academy. They now have greater ambitions in his shadow.”

Bhaskar’s father, B. Narayana Reddy, is a farmer and his mother S. Saraswathi, a housewife. His parents participate in Upadi Hami Pathakam (Government Initiative) every weekend to bring themselves relief and meet regular living expenses. He has an elder brother and a sister, both of whom are married.

Bhaskar began playing football as early as age nine. Upon being selected to join the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) School, Hyderabad, he deepened his love for the game. He honed his football skills and completed his intermediate education in 2012 while at the SAAP. 2012, brought him his selection into the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre, Kurnool, which he accepted gleefully, simultaneously pursuing his under graduation.

Bhaskar once decided to quit football, pursue a Bachelors in Physical Education after passing out from SAI. A PE teacher or sports coach job seemed like the best way to support his family, envisioning a dying dream of playing football at the highest level.

ASV Football Academy Assistant Head Coach, Vijayabhaskar at this point, knowing Bhaskar’s search for job opportunities, highlighted to ASA Football Head Coach, Miquel Llado of his promising talent and potential.

With the coach’s nod Bhaskar renewed his dream of an opportunity to play professional football and joined RDT’s Football Program at ASV, living, training as well as taking part in the coaching camps, supported by Spanish clubs at the ASV, under the watchful eyes of Miquel Llado. He developed the technicality of his game, while being supported with a healthy nutrition and support in developing as a coach, if plans for professional football were to fail.

Coach Vijayabhaskar saw Bhaskar’s development as a footballer from close quarters for 10 years. “As a player, Bhaskar was happy to represent Anantapur district in whatever limited opportunities he got. Now seeing him play as a professional for a second division I League club is something we at RDT are very proud of.”

Bhaskar has participated in a number of national sports competitions, including the Sub Junior, Junior and Senior Nationals and also Inter University National Competitions. He also holds the distinction of representing Andhra Pradesh in the prestigious Santosh Trophy in 2014 held at Siliguri, West Bengal.

Bhaskar, talking about his progress says, “Playing at the RDT academy has helped me to gain the confidence to trust my abilities and play competitive football.” He was of the view that “RDT as an organization provided me and many others with a platform to develop as sportspersons and I’m happy and thankful for being a part of the process.”