Chandigarh,07.08.19-Having started his career in Chandigarh, Mohd Sajid Dhot’s football journey has taken him to the USA and back, and the 21-year-old India international still feels a strong connection with the city.

The defender, who was part of Indian senior team that won the silver medal at last year’s SAFF Championship in Bangladesh, started his journey from Chandigarh in 2009.

Dhot, who belongs to Malerkotla, Punjab, is a former trainee of the city’s St Stephen’s School Football Academy. He played in his first national championship while representing the city. “I have a special connection with the city. I played my first national championship representing the city. My love for the game blossomed here,” Dhot said.

In 2010, he was one of the lucky footballers who won a scholarship from IMG Reliance to train in the United States. He stayed there for over two years, playing in the Dallas Cup and IMG Cup. He also played in friendly matches in Brazil. “It was a nice experience to be among the professionals. It helped me mature as a player and understand the game better, how to play in different situations,” he said.

He went on to play for the Indian junior teams in different age groups. He played in the U-16 and U-19 AFC Championships. Having been on the scene for many years now, Dhot has started to knock at the senior team’s door. He believes his time has come.

“I have played in over 16 international championships and attended an equal number of camps. I think, it’s the right time to make a big move,” said Dhot, who went on an exposure tour to Australia with the Indian national team.

Dhot featured in the Delhi Dynamos line-up in the Indian Super League (ISL).

“I want to play at the highest level for the country. The time spent with the Indian senior team has given me the freedom to express myself,” said Dhot.