KRL eye President’s Cup glory

KRL eye President’s Cup glory

by Alam Zeb Safi [The News]

KARACHI: Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) players will assemble in Rawalpindi on Saturday (tomorrow) to kick-start their preparations for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President’s Cup Group B matches which will be held in Manila in the second week of May.

As many as 25 players have been advised to report for the camp on Saturday. Formal training will begin from Sunday.

“I will conduct the first training session on March 31,” KRL coach Tariq Lutfi told ‘The News’ on Thursday.

KRL will face two-time former champions Dordoi Dynamo of Kyrgyzstan in their opener on May 8, followed by their matches against debutants and hosts Global FC of Philippines on May10 and Yeedzin FC of Bhutan on May 12.

Lutfi said that their prime target would be to qualify for the finals. “We will try our level best to make it to the final round,” said the coach.

“This time we would enter the event with a better game plan. We have already played against Dordoi twice and again our first match against them would be very important and if we played an organised game, we could hold them,” said Lutfi, also a former Pakistan coach and FIFA instructor.

He said all the key players would be part of the training camp.

“We have invited all the key players for the camp. Our winger Rizwan Asif, who was injured, is also undergoing physical training these days and so is striker Mohammad Qasim,” Lutfi revealed.

Rizwan, who is one of the finest of strikers of the country, had not only missed the Premier League but also failed to find a place in the national team for the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers in Kyrgyzstan due to fitness problems.

Lutfi said that their key defenders would need tough training.

“I plan to make both our main defenders Kamran Khan and Samar Ishaq go through explosive training. I believe that they need more fitness than needed as in international competitions along with experience speed is also counted a lot,” he said.

To a query Lutfi said that he would try to form a good combination. “In our previous outing in the President’s Cup, finishing was our main weakness. This time I will try to focus on the area.”

“Kaleemullah would be my prime target and I will also look how the newly-recruited front-runner Saeed Ahmad plays in the key area. On the wings Rizwan, Qasim, Mohammad Adil and Hasnain Abbas would be used,” Lutfi informed.

“Midfielder Dawood is our other fresh recruit and he is a fine player while the two new comers including Shoaib Riaz and international Mohammad Hameed would strengthen our defence line,” Lutfi.

“Our switch-over from midfield is a bit low and we will try to make the area more accurate so that the game could be switched over from the midfield to the wings and then onto the hunting area.”

He said that his team would need a few matches during its one-month preparatory camp. “We will definitely need a few matches and we will try to arrange them in Lahore, Peshawar and in Islamabad.”

Twelve teams have been bracketed in three different pools and two leading outfits from each pool will make it to the finals.

Draws of 2013 AFC President’s Cup:

Group A: League champions of Nepal, Taiwan Power Company (Chinese Taipei), Bangladesh’s Abahani Limited, Erchim FC of Mongolia,

Group B: Dordoi Dynamo (Kyrgyzstan), KRL (Pakistan), Global FC (Philippines), Yeedzin FC (Bhutan),

Group C: Cambodian’s Beoung Ket Rubber FC, Palestine’s Alquds Hilal Club, Balkan FC of Turkmenistan, Sri Lanka’s Army Sports Club.

Group B

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Philippines Global 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Kyrgyzstan Dordoi Bishkek 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Pakistan KRL 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Bhutan Yeedzin 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
8 May 2013 Global Philippines v Bhutan Yeedzin
8 May 2013 Dordoi Bishkek Kyrgyzstan v Pakistan KRL

10 May 2013 Yeedzin Bhutan v Kyrgyzstan Dordoi Bishkek
10 May 2013 KRL Pakistan v Philippines Global

12 May 2013 Global Philippines v Kyrgyzstan Dordoi Bishkek
12 May 2013 KRL Pakistan v Bhutan Yeedzin