Techie finds his calling in American football

Pothireddy Sandeep Kumar Reddy led the Indian team at the International Federation of American Football Flag Football World Championship-2021 after playing 30 international matches.

Published: 19th December 2021 09:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th December 2021 09:02 AM   |  A+A-

American Football

Representational Image

Express News Service

KADAPA: Pothireddy Sandeep Kumar Reddy, an IT professional, has found fame in a little-known sport in the country—American football. 

Pothireddy Sandeep Kumar was
chosen as captain of the Indian team.
(Photo | Express)

He led the Indian team as captain in the 2021 International Federation of American Football Flag Football World Championship organised in Israel from December 5 to 10. Out of the 24 countries that took part, India was placed 15th under Sandeep’s leadership.

The sport in India, which is still at the nascent stages, is governed by American Football Federation of India, which is based out of Mumbai.       

Determined to get American football, referred to simply as football in the United States, wider acceptance in India, Sandeep said, “My ultimate goal is to see India become the world champion,” he said

In his school days, Sandeep was a football player but picked up American football, which has its roots in rugby, when he was pursuing his college education. 

Over the last decade, he has played in several national and international tournaments and brought fame to the country. After playing 30 international matches, he was elevated to lead the Indian team. 

Son of YSRC party state secretary Pothireddy Nagarjuna Reddy and Surekha, and grandson of former chairperson of Andhra Pradesh Women’s Cooperative Finance Corporation P Krishnamma, Sandeep finished his schooling from Kurnool, where he led the U-16 football team and helped Kurnool win its first championship. 

Later, he joined Sports Authority of India in Bangalore to play football and simultaneously completed his Intermediate. After finishing B. Tech from Narayana College in Nellore, he changed his focus to American football. Though he got an IT job, he gave it up in 2011 to completely focus on a career in sports. 

“I was in love with the game, so I gave up my job. I focused all my attention to make a mark for myself in this field,” he told TNIE. 

After leaving his job, he joined the Hyderabad American football team. There was no turning back for him from there. His first international tournament was the India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka tri-series held in Sri Lanka.  In 2014, he played for Oklahoma, and his efforts paid off as he was selected for the Indian team in 2016.  In 2018, his played in the India-Dubai match held in Gachibowli stadium. To improve his game, he underwent six months’ training in the US. “I hope the game is given its due by State and Central governments.”

Nagarjuna Reddy is proud of his son’s achievements and said he felt honoured when Sandeep was selected for the Indian team and later made its captain.


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