31st National Games from Sunday: Holders Army announce football squad

Lahore, 21 December : Four-times National Champion Pakistan Army, who also clinched gold five times in National Games, open their defence of National Games soccer title on Sunday, 25 December when they will face Pakistan Railways in Group-A at Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium (Ground No.1) at 1 PM Kick-off.

Pakistan Army’s Manager/Head coach is former Pakistan football team skipper Lt. Col. Muhammad Nauman Khan who was team skipper when Army clinched the national title in 1993, 1995. Little Shaukat Hussain, who was also in those squads, is now coach.

The five-day Football event of 31st National Games will be held at Islamabad’s Jinnah Stadium from 25-29 December 2010. The soldiers, on the other hand, will attempt to make it fourth in a row, having completed triumphs of gold in soccer of National Games three years ago, overwhelming host Sindh in final of 30th National Games Football Tournament at Karachi’s Peoples Sports Complex. They earlier won the gold in 2001 Games at Lahore and 2004 Games. Karachi’s gold was overall their fifth gold, having won top slot on 1995 and 1997.

Striker Imran Hussain, who represented Pakistan in SAFF Championship 2005 and top scorer in same year of PPFL, will is ine if the key player alongwith MVP of PPFL 2004, 2006 Jaffar Khan who skippered the team due to his commitment with National U23 team to China. The team is also comprised of left full Muhammad Imran MVP of PPFL 07 and goal keeper Mehmood Ahmed, a SAF 2006 Gold Medallist.

Pakistan Army will be comprised of Mehmood Ahmed, Jaffar Khan , Abdul Rehman, Adnan Bari, Akhtar Hussain, Ansar Abbas, Asmat Ullah, Babar Mahmood Ghulam Mistafa, Ijaz Ahmed, Imran Hussain, Khizar Hayyat Majid Khan, Mansoor Khan, Michael Masih, Muhammad Imran (Pir Mahal), Muhammad Imran (Muzaffargarh),Muhammad Imran ( Faisalabad), Muhammad Khabab, Muhammad Ramzan Muhammad Shabbir, M Shahid, Noor Ul Amin, Saeed Murad, Tanveer Shahid, Shabbir Hussain, Sharjeel Vicky, Imran Ali, Muhammad Ashfaq, Usman Rasheed, Qamar Estephen, Ghulam Rasool, M.Adnan Khan, Umer Draz, M. Naveed, Muhammad Rizwan, Rashid Mushtaq, Muhammad Ikram, Mubashir Hussain.

Army never missed top two place in PPFL since 2004, winning event in 2005, 2006 and finished second in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2009. They are currently second behind PPFL 2010 champion Pakistan WAPDA with 52 points in 27 matches.

Gold Medallist of National Games 1982-2010

1982-Peshawar: Pakistan Air Force

1986-Quetta: Balochistan

1990-Nowshera: Punjab

1992-Lahore: Pakistan WAPDA

1995-Quetta: Pakistan Army

1997-Karachi: Pakistan Army

1998-Peshawar: Punjab

2001-Lahore: PakistanArmy

2004-Quetta: Pakistan Army

2007-Karachi: Pakistan Army

2010-Peshawar: ???