mo4ch:> From idolising Messi to dreaming of Arsenal - Who is English-Malaysian youngster Jaami Qureshi? | Mo4ch News - Mo4ch News


Friday, May 1, 2020

mo4ch:> From idolising Messi to dreaming of Arsenal - Who is English-Malaysian youngster Jaami Qureshi? | Mo4ch News

He's only sixteen, but Brighton youngster Jaami Qureshi has already attracted interest from his mother's home country Malaysia.

For the past decade or so, the Malaysian FA (FAM) has been actively searching for foreign-born players with Malaysian heritage, in the hopes of giving the national team a leg up at the continental and world stage.

While there maybe concerns that this search is leading the association to neglect its youth development duty, it is undeniable that the current crop of mixed-heritage players have given their adopted country an advantage at the international stage.

In Malaysia's ongoing 2022 World Cup Asian qualifying campaign, the Harimau Malaya are currently placed in second place in Group G of the second round, thanks to the services of the likes of Australian-born Matthew Davies and Brendan Gan, as well of England-born defender La'Vere Corbin-Ong.

But at the same time, FAM is already thinking ahead, by identifying youth players that are currently training at top professional clubs all over the world.

One of the youth prospects that have been scouted in recent years is England-born forward/winger Jaami Qureshi. Claiming Malaysian and Malay heritage through his mother, who hails from Manjoi, Perak, the 16-year old is currently a trainee at English Premier League side Brighton & Hove Albion. At the same time, the youngster's father Perviz has Iraqi heritage.

In interviews with Malaysian media, including those given to media conglomerate Astro when he visited the country back in 2018, Jaami revealed that he is the youngest sibling in a family of four brothers and one sister.

His interest in football began when he was four years old, having kickabouts with his brothers. Fast forward a few years later, he signed as a youth trainee at Championship division club Brentford FC's academy.

His time at Brentford however lasted only two years, after the club shuttered its youth academy, due to intense competition for talents and heavy financial costs.

Stints with London sides Chelsea and Fulham followed, but in the end he decided on Brighton in 2016, signing a two-year contract at age twelve. At the conclusion of this particular contract, he was then offered a four-year contract, with the expectation that he will be promoted to the first team when he turns seventeen.

According to Soccerway records, the youngster has not made any appearance for the Seagulls' U-18 side in the 2019/20 season, but he has been on the bench for them in two U-18 Premier League Cup fixtures.

He idolises Barcelona star Lionel Messi as well as PSG's Kylian Mbappe, and harbours dreams of representing the Spanish club as well as English side Arsenal.

For now, the future looks bright for Jaami, inside and also outside of football. He had also been a keen youth rugby player with reported interest from English Premiership side Harlequin.

As a school boy, he is also a keen sprinter and long jumper, clocking a personal best time of 12 seconds in the 100-metre dash, and a personal best record of 5.58 metres in long jump.

Jaami Qureshi's track and field records

And if somehow his sporting career does not take off, he revealed in an interview with Astro that he already has a backup plan; to train as an architect.

However, it seems that his current focus is undeniably on football, especially when he has previously trained at the England U-15 level (UK news organisation Daily Mirror described him as one of "England's great hopes"), a fact that is certainly going to make FAM's attempts to persuade him to don Malaysian colours in the near future more challenging.

But the association is not giving up, with discussions having been held with the youngster and his father. They met FAM when he visited the country in 2018, and again the following year, reportedly with the view of calling him up for the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Manila. In the end, the youngster was noticably absent from Malaysia U-23's centralised camp and competition squad.

Meanwhile, his father had revealed to Berita Harian that Jaami had previously received offers to join Malaysia's National Football Development Programme, but had to decline as he would have to train in Pahang, a considerable distance from the family's Malaysian base in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

On his part, like most footballers with the chance to play for more than one country, the youngster has adopted a wait-and-see approach.

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"I've been with England U-15," he told Berita Harian. "But for me, nothing is impossible. I will decide on it when the time comes. I'll be happy to play in Malaysia, because I've seen a number of talented players there, who can play in Europe.

"And I can't afford to be complacent here, so I need to up my game."

Until the time comes that Jaami decides on the nation he will be representing, Malaysian fans will be waiting with bated breath. Not just for a possible Malaysian debut by him, but also for the possibility of having the first English Premier League player with Malaysian heritage.

Source : Football News, Live Scores, Results & Transfers |

From idolising Messi to dreaming of Arsenal - Who is English-Malaysian youngster Jaami Qureshi?

From idolising Messi to dreaming of Arsenal - Who is English-Malaysian youngster Jaami Qureshi?