PFF to hold juniors camp this month

KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) is going to hold a brief camp of the junior footballers, which could be called the second string team of the country, later this month.

‘The News’ learnt through sources that the camp is expected to start in Lahore on April 23 or 24 and will last till May 2.

Pakistan’s Serbian coach Zavisa Milosavljevic, who is expected to serve till expiry of his contract in November, will supervise the camp.

Sources said that mostly the players of 1993-1994 and 1991-92 batches would be invited.

Zavisa has prepared the list through the assistance of his support staff. The boys include young striker Mansoor Khan, who belongs to the 1996 batch.

Mansoor, who is from Mardan, played a key role in Pakistan’s title winning triumph in the inaugural SAFF Under-16 Championship in Nepal a couple of years back.

The players of the 1993-94 batch are those who represented Pakistan in the AFC Under-19 Championship Qualifiers in Iran in 2011.

Most of the players of this group have been associated with the Pakistan senior team. The prominent among them are Saddam Hussain, Naveed Ahmed, goalies Saqib Hanif and Ihsanullah, and Bilawal-ur-Rehman.

Naved Ahmad, Saddam Hussain and Saqib Hanif were part of the Pakistan team that failed to click in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers in Bishkek last month.

The 1991-92 batch players have become more mature and most of them have a lot of international exposure. Some of them are permanent part of the national senior team. The prominent among this group are Kaleemullah, Mehmood Khan, Saeed Ahmad, Mohammad Hameed, Mohammad Aadil, Faisal Iqbal and Zia-us-Salam.

The camp is expected to be held at the City School Ground in Lahore after the Pakistan Under-13 team vacates the venue. They are scheduled to fly out for Iran on April 21 to feature in the 2014 AFC Under-14 Championship Qualifiers in Mashhad from April 23 to 29.

Khan Research Laboratories (KRL), who are preparing in Rawalpindi for the next month’s AFC President’s Cup in Philippines, will not be able to release their players for the camp.

“I don’t know about the actual programme of the PFF but I believe that our players will definitely be with us till the end of the President’s Cup,” a KRL team official told this correspondent.

Pakistan’s England tour is also in pipeline as the PFF has been invited by an India-based event management company for a couple of matches which the Greenshirts are expected to play against India and Bangladesh in the first week of June.

If the tour takes place, Pakistan will have to hold the senior team’s camp after the juniors. Pakistan are also scheduled to feature in the SAFF Cup in Nepal in September-October.

From: The News