Ali Nawaz Baloch willing to be Pak team coach

KARACHI: Former Pakistan striker Ali Nawaz Baloch has said if he were made Pakistan football team coach he would turn it into a fighting lot within a year.

“Yes, if I were given the opportunity to coach the national team, I am confident that the team would start clicking internationally within a year,” Ali Nawaz told ‘The News’ in an interview here on Tuesday.

“I have been hearing that Pakistan have not been scoring goals in international competitions and I know where the ailment lies. I have the competence to put the team on the winning track if assigned the task with the sort of support which the authorities are extending to the foreign coach,” said Nawaz, who had a great name in Pakistan’s frontline way back in 1970s.

“It is the responsibility of a coach to improve the finishing of the players. The nation wants a win and nothing else. There should be swift progress as other countries have made a lot of development in the field and it would be very difficult for Pakistan to compete with their rivals in future,” said the striker, who also played club football in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) besides delivering his services as a coach there.

“Pakistan’s first target should be to emerge as a leading side in the South Asia and then Asia should be their next goal. And it will be only through a solid policy that the country will be able to achieve that objective,” Ali Nawaz said.

“I always say that there is a lot of young talent in the country but it needs to be properly polished and I can do that job effectively as I am qualified for that task and have the credentials too,” Ali Nawaz said.

“Only a few hours of practice daily will not realise our dreams. The boys need proper attention and every area will have to be given proper time to make the unit ready for any international assignment,” the player pointed out.

“A coach needs to work on building stamina of the boys when he is given a certain time to build the side. From the development of stamina up to working on skill and system, a coach needs to give great attention. A coach’s job is to develop every aspect of the team and he should not say that the team lost because of the missed chances as it is his responsibility to prepare certain players who could convert maximum chances,” Ali said.

“If a coach cannot improve finishing of the players it means he does not have the ability to raise a better side,” Ali said.

He backed the idea of focusing on the young lot. “I always say that youngsters are our future. If we start working on them properly we could make progress but it needs sincerity and dedication on the part of the coach,” Ali Nawaz said.

Pakistan have been failing to perform well at the international level. Last year, Pakistan performed poorly in the World Cup Qualifiers, Olympic Qualifiers and the SAFF Cup.

This year the Under-22 team crashed to humiliating defeats at the Asian Cup Qualifiers in Saudi Arabia and the senior lot lost to Singapore 4-0 in the FIFA friendly in Singapore on November 19.

Recently, the Under-23 lot ended as runners-up in the low-profile four-nation tournament in Sri Lanka, which left the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) utterly disappointed.

Serbian coach Zavisa Milosavljevic has been at the helm of Pakistan coaching for the last one year but without any substantial progress.

by Alam Zeb Safi [The News]