Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Pakistan football team’s former captain Mohammad Essa has been invited to serve in the support staff of national coach Mohammed Shamlan during the camp which begins at the Punjab Stadium in Lahore on Wednesday (today).
“Yes, we have invited Essa so that he could be groomed as a coach,” Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) secretary Col Ahmed Yar Lodhi confirmed to ‘The News’ on Tuesday.
“Essa was a great player. He also has a good personality, so we want to see him as a coach in future. We would like to groom young coaches like Essa, Mehmood Khan and Jaffar Khan,” Lodhi said. “Mehmood and Jaffar are also on our radar.”
Pakistan football team is scheduled to tour Palestine next month to feature in the Al-Nakba Invitational International Football tournament to be held there from May 1-15.
However, this correspondent learnt that Essa would not be going with the team to Palestine.
Essa has almost completed his AFC Licence B coaching course.
Shamlan met Essa a few months ago when he visited Karachi to witness the Premier League matches. He asked Essa if he would be interested in coaching. Essa showed his willingness.
There is a good understanding between Essa and Shamlan. It is highly likely that Essa will be given coaching responsibility of a junior team in the near future.
Essa told this correspondent that the PFF had asked about his willingness and he had shown his interest. “I wanted to join the camp in time, but my father died the other day, so I have to stay at home for the next three to four days. But Insha Allah I will join the camp because working with Shamlan will help me learn from him,” Essa said.
“I am very impressed with the coaching method of Shamlan. It will be an honour for me to work with him in the beginning of my coaching career,” Essa, who is serving K-Electric as skipper, said.
During the recently concluded National Challenge Cup he did a fine job to guide his team to their fourth successive final. Former international defender Tanvir Ahmed, Asghar Anjum, Aslam Khan and Hasan Baloch are currently in the support staff of Shamlan. They will be part of the squad which will go to Palestine.
Hasan, who is undergoing his Licence A course in Bahrain, will fly to Palestine directly from there to join the team. The course will conclude on April 30.
Meanwhile, the PFF announced the names of the players who will undergo training in Lahore ahead of the Palestine tour.
Players: Bilawal Rehman, Saddam Hussain, Muhammad Ahmed, Muhammad Bilal, Rashid Noor, Shahid Iqbal, Ehsan Ullah, Mohammad bin Younus, Ashfaq Uddin, Mansoor Khan, Riaz Ahmed, Sher Ali, Faisal Iqbal, Muhammad Sher, Usman Khan, Muhammad Sohail, Izhar Ullah, Muhammad Riaz, Mohsin Ali, Naveed Ahmed, Shehroz.
Officials: Mohammed Shamlan (head coach), Kamran Mehdi (manager and physio), Tanveer Ahmed (assistant coach), Asghar Khan Anjum (assistant manager and assistant coach), Muhammad Aslam Khan (goalkeeping coach).