Coach Mohiuddin optimistic about Asian Games

LAHORE: Pakistan football coach Akhtar Mohiuddin has termed the ongoing training camp and the foreign tour as useful preparations ahead of the Asian Games to be held in Guangzhou, China from November 12. He said that the event would be tough but Pakistan’s preparations made it a reasonable contender as well.

“We have shortlisted the 35 best available players for the second phase of the camp,” said Mohiuddin. “A total of 20 players are currently participating in the ongoing training camp while nine England-based players, who are playing a league in England, will be joining within a couple of weeks.

“The rest are currently featuring in the ongoing domestic Pakistan Football League and will be released by their respective departments,” added the coach.

Pakistan will tour South Korea after a 20-man squad is picked as part of the Asian Games preparations before the event’s opening ceremony at Haixinsha Island in the Pearl River. Mohiuddin said, “We will be playing against some tough teams in the Asian circle so we needed some exposure before the event.” He added that players needed appropriate diet and extensive physical training besides the best international exposure to compete with top teams like South Korea.

“South Korea has good standard of football and I am sure we will benefit from playing matches there,” added Mohiuddin. “Our team is expected to play against professional clubs, which will help us in building match temperament and the exposure in playing in Korea will be useful prior to the Asian Games as well.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 23rd, 2010.