By: Mohammed Shahnawaz, FPDC
AC HORSENS are currently enjoying a well-earned winter break as they plot their return to the Superliga at the first attempt.
They currently lie in second place in the 1st Division table, seven points behind leaders Hobro and are one are one of the in-form teams, picking up four wins in five games, showing their hunger to get back into Denmark’s premier division after suffering relegation last year.
And their good run of form has coincided with the return of defender Nabil Aslam to the first team line up.
Despite a 2-0 loss to Hvidovre at the start of November, Aslam has helped shore up the defence which has seen Horsens pick up 2-1 wins against both Brønsøj and Lyngby as well as recording 4-1 scorelines against Marienlyst and Vendsyssel.
Aslam is looking to help Horsens get over the disappointment of last season by getting them back into the Superliga.
“It was very sad for us to get relegated to the 1st Division,” Aslam told FootballPakistan.com. “Last year we had a very good team but football can be (cruel) sometimes. But the club believe we can come back again this year, and the players do as well.”
The 29-year-old has been with Den Gule Fare (The Yellow Danger ) since 2008, joining from Frem BK. The Lyngby-born player has enjoyed some good times with Horsens, playing four seasons in the Superliga as well as the Europa League play-offs in August 2012, where he came up against Sporting Lisbon.
Recalling the moment he joined Horsens, Aslam said: “I was paying for Frem and I had half a year left on my contract. The Horsens coach wanted me so it was easy to say yes to play for them. To play in the Superliga is not easy but I had a coach who believed in me and was not afraid to play young players. That’s why I got my chance.”
Aslam has also picked up a runners-up medal in the Danish Cup, known as DBU Pokalen, losing 1-0 to Copenhagen in May 2012.
And as the league is currently in hibernation this winter, Horsens have an opportunity to make the semi-finals of the Danish Cup when they take on Vejle on Thursday evening.
Winners of the Danish Cup are rewarded with a place in the UEFA Europa League play-offs, which would give Aslam and Horsens another opportunity to mix it with some of the bigger clubs in Europe. And the player has ambitions to play football elsewhere in the continent as well as Asia.
“I want to play in Europe or Asia because it is a dream for me and I hope I can make it before I get too old!”
Aslam also has dreams of following in the footsteps of fellow compatriots such as Yousuf and Yaqoob Butt, Hassan Bashir and Mohammad Ali by wearing the green and white of the Pakistan national team.
For many Pakistan fans, seeing Aslam team up with former Fulham and Kitchee SC player Zesh Rehman in the heart of the defence has remained but a dream for the past couple of years. But if Aslam has his way, it won’t be long before he can line up in the same team Rehman, Butt and Bashir.
“It’s always big to play for a national team and I hope it will be soon that I can play for Pakistan.”