Zavisa: Dont pit U16s in national events

KARACHI: Pakistan football coach Zavisa Milosavljevic said that including under-16 team players in the ongoing KPT National Football Challenge Cup 2012 is a bad idea, saying it will destroy the juniors’ confidence when they compete with the seniors.

Milosavljevic, who is in Karachi to see the matches at the KPT Stadium, said that while organising more domestic tournament is a positive sign, the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) needs to identify talent and reconsider the structure of the tournaments.

“Including the under-19 team players is alright,” Milosavljevic told The Express Tribune. “It will help the players grow but under-16 teams need separate tournaments.

“They’re still trying to understand the sport and pitting them against departmental teams featuring senior players isn’t the way to give them exposure. Constant defeats can destroy confidence and these kids aren’t good enough to beat the seniors right now.”

Meanwhile, Milosavljevic was surprised at the playing conditions in Pakistan and said that the People’s Stadium, which hosted the country’s match against Palestine, was in deplorable condition. “Lahore has better football fields compared to Karachi,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2012 by Natasha Raheel.