30 Pakistan U14 players to train at Southall in UK

KARACHI: Thirty under-14 footballers from Pakistan will be trained in the UK during the summer at the Southall Football Club, located in Southall which has a huge Pakistani population, unveiled its plans.

The venture is supported by the English Football Association and will start in June.

According to the club representative Dalawar Chaudhary, setting up a grassroot-level academy with the youngsters is a collective effort of the Pakistani community based in the UK. Dalawar, who also owns a restaurant in the area that provides catering to the Pakistan cricket team on its tours of England, added that the venture is  ‘purely out of patriotism’.

“There’s a desire of the expats here to see a good Pakistani team they can cheer for,” Dalawar told The Express Tribune from London. “We are all football fanatics but quite often there’s no team for us to back like we have in cricket. It’s a community project and the FA has also agreed to help us. These kids will be given training and we also have renowned footballers on the panel who are excited about grooming these 30 boys into competitive footballers.”

PFF welcomes venture

Meanwhile, according to the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Secretary Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi, the idea of grooming a team in the UK was a great initiative.

“It sounds like a great idea and we will welcome such an endeavour,” said Lodhi. “It will serve a great purpose but we’d need to see how the PFF can benefit from it. We are open for talks if anyone has a plan for the promotion of Pakistan football.”

Dalawar added that the talent hunt will be carried out in all four provinces during June and there will be a special emphasis on finding talent in Balochistan since kids there do not get proper education or opportunities to use their potential in the field of sport.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 28th, 2012.