Senior, junior players looking to impress [Tribune]

Natasha Raheel  – Express Tribune

KARACHI: Both senior and junior players will hope to regain the Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) confidence with their performance in their upcoming tournaments.

The national team will play two friendlies in Bangladesh on August 13 and 16 and one in Afghanistan four days later to prepare for the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship that will start on September 1 in Nepal.

Meanwhile, the U14 squad that is training for the Asian Youth Games is looking to impress against the likes of South Korea, Chinese Taipei and Vietnam in China beginning August 16.

Despite the upcoming assignments and ongoing camps in Lahore, PFF Secretary Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi raised concerns about the players’ inability to score goals during international matches.

However, striker Kaleemullah said that the SAFF Championship would be a good chance for the team to prove itself.

“The PFF’s concerns are reasonable,” Kaleemullah told The Express Tribune. “The team should have won a trophy by now. But our matches with Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be helpful.

“We need to impress our federation. This event will help us
regain the PFF’s trust.”

Kaleemullah stated that the camp was coming along well, but felt that the team could use some experience from senior players such as Muhammad Rasool and Arif Mehmood in the SAFF Championship.

Similarly, U14 coach Hasan Baloch said that his goal is to win the Asian Youth Games trophy. “The U16 team failed to defend the title at the SAFF Championship last month so now the U14 team needs to perform well,” said Baloch.

The national and U14 teams will leave for their respective tours on August 11.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2013.