A 13-year-old Malaysian gifted footballer, Ash Hameed from Selangor, has signed a two-year contract with the Queens Park Rangers Football Club (QPR) in April this year.
Ash's father told the Sin Chew Daily in an exclusive interview that Ash started to receive free training for two years after signing the contract with the QPR on 10 April this year and the contract would only be expired in June 2012.
Ash, a left-foot striker, first raised the attention of various football clubs after helping the Crest Academy win the Middlesex Watkin League Cup for Brent Schools under-12s with a five-goal burst.
Ash's father used to be a player of the Malaysia youth football team under-18s and the Selangor football team (1988 to 1990). He decided to send Ash to England after discovering his son's high talent in playing football.
He said: "I have been giving him basic football skill training since he was young. I sent him to the local Brazil Football Centre when he was six years old.
Many coaches of the centre told me that Ash was gifted. They also suggested that I should send him to England for training.
"I brought Ash to England in 2008 and we faced some difficulties at the beginning. We had looked for many schools before Ash was accepted by the Kodak Football Club. The youth training centre of the Arsenal Football Club had also given him a training offer."
"Ash is a Liverpool fan and his dream is to represent the club one day. However, I am a fan of Manchester, a Liverpool's sworn army. Although we are supporting different teams, it does not affect our relationship," he said.
He also said that Ash had been selected as one of the eight best players of the QPR and was informed to play in an invitation tournament under-15s of an Europe football club. The participating teams included famed teams like Barcelona. However, the QPR did not send the team to play in the end and he believed that it was due to sponsorship problems.