Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Pakistan football team’s Bahraini coach Mohammed Shamlan has invited around 45 players for a camp beginning in Lahore from Thursday (tomorrow) in a bid to form a pool of talented youngsters.
Shamlan has decided against inviting his deputy Shehzad Anwar, who served with him as assistant coach during Pakistan’s recent tour of Philippines, and has rather inserted former international defender and WAPDA’s coach Tanvir Ahmed in his place.
KESC coach Hasan Baloch and goalkeeping coach Aslam Khan are the others in his support staff. The camp will last till December 22.The purpose of the camp is to test the players Shamlan has picked during the Premier League.
The coach will also form Pakistan team for the next year’s AFC Under-22 Championship Qualifiers from the lot he has called for training. Some of the players will also be used for the senior team.
The venue of the camp is yet to be confirmed.“We have three options and I hope that Punjab Stadium will be given by the government for the camp,” Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi told ‘The News’ on Tuesday.
The players will stay at the FIFA Football House, which is also the headquarters of the PFF. Lodhi said that they wanted to give opportunities to former Pakistan players in coaching. “In the past too Tanvir has worked with us and again he has been given the opportunity. We would like to give coaching opportunity to Mohammad Essa and Jaffar Khan who have rendered meritorious services for football. They are our stars and they should be respected,” Lodhi said.
Essa is taking the AFC Licence B coaching course and is expected to be assigned a youth team in future. Currently he is acting as KESC skipper in the Premier League.
Jaffar may be hired as goalkeeping coach in future. He holds Licence C coaching certificate. The PFF plans to help him grab the Licence B in near future.“Yes, we will help Jaffar get his Licence B,” Lodhi said.
Because of the camp, the PFF has decided to stop the Premier League. After Army’s match against Air Force in Lahore on Wednesday (today), the league will be halted and will resume from December 25.