Jewel's early days as a footballer
Jewel Raja has been an influential member of the McDowell Mohun Bagan midfield since joining the club. He has linked extremely well with the in-form striker Odafa Okolie, playing a big role in many of the Nigerian's goals.
Football comes naturally to Jewel's family. His elder brother, Tarif Ahmed, is also a professional footballer and his younger brother, Tousif Ahmed, is also very interested in following their footsteps. Tousif is currently in Mohun Bagan Executive Committee Member Joy Kandu's Academy in Budge Budge.
Jewel started his playing career with Ableez AC Club in Achipur. He practiced there from his childhood. When he was 11 years old, he joined Pujali AC. He trained there for 4 years under coach Amitabha Ghosh. He played as a striker as well as wing half, both left and right.
Jewel still remembers his life's first tournament - a 90-point tournament in Batanagar. In one of the matches he was adjudged Man of the Match and received his award from P. K. Banerjee. "It was a proud moment for me," Jewel said.
In 2004, he joined SAI residential camp where he stayed for 8 months. He trained under Chinmoy Chakraborty. In SAI, he used to play as a wing half.
Towards the end of 2004, he became associated with Budge Budge Football Academy where Joy Kandu was the Secretary and Chinmoy Sarkar was the coach. That same year he joined the IFA Academy and stayed there for 3 years. While in the IFA Academy, he also continued practicing in Budge Budge Football Academy which was near his house. During this phase, he slowly shifted to central midfield.
In 2006, he got a chance to play for the U-16 Bengal team. In the final Bengal beat Mizoram 3-0 to become Champions. Jewel scored one goal in the tournament, against Sikkim.
Jewel has impressed whenever presented with an opportunity. His career has seen him play for clubs like Dempo SC and Indian Arrows (now Pailan Arrows), before joining McDowell Mohun Bagan.
We look forward to many more brilliant performances and goals from the young midfielder.
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