To most footballers pre-season is a gruelling few weeks at the start of each new season, a chore born out of the necessity to get fit, that lets them put something ‘in the bank’ for the forthcoming season.
Step forward Mukhtar Mohamed a first year Apprentice at Sheffield Wednesday.
The Somalian born midfielder was certainly not fazed by the daunting nature of the long pre-season runs and endless hours of fitness work, but then again, Mukhtar has spent his summer swapping the pitch for the track on a regular basis with the blessing of Wednesday’s Academy Manager Sean McAuley.
While his peers at the Wednesday lined up to face WBA on the opening day of the season, Mukhtar was competing in the English Schools Championships winning the 800m in the U17 category with a time of 1:55:70.
To cap an impressive summer Mukhtar won the prestigious AAA Championships at his home track at Don Valley in an impressive 1:55:00 although with a personal best of 1:53 it’s obvious that Mukhtar seems set to go quicker and quicker!
But for now Mukhtar is content to hang up his spikes and put his boots back on as he tries to cement his place in Wednesday’s Youth team this season.
“Running was always something I’ve done as a hobby and I really got into it a few months ago. I started going to training at the City of Sheffield running club with my friend Abdirisak Ahmed who is a very talented runner in the 3000m.”
“The training was hard and that has actually helped me this pre-season with my football. Sean was happy to let me run in a number of competitions early this season but my hope now is to start to make an impression on the football pitch”