‘KRL concerned with gap left by Kaleemullah’ [Express Tribune]

‘KRL concerned with gap left by Kaleemullah’ [Express Tribune]

Natasha Raheel – Express Tribune
KARACHI: KRL Football Club (FC) coach Tariq Lutfi faces a Herculean task of maintaining his team as the top side of the country before the Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL) season kicks off in September.

According to Lutfi, who has played a major role in making KRL FC a formidable team in the local circuit, managing the team would be a challenge now that his key players are getting contracts from foreign clubs.

“I’m very worried about the team,” Lutfi told The Express Tribune. “I’m happy for the players who are going abroad, but that means that we need new stars to fill the gap, which isn’t easy at all.”

Lutfi said that after Kaleemullah and Muhammad Adil’s departure to the Kyrgyz football league, other players are also keen on signing up for foreign clubs. “The road will get tougher from this point. The pool of players that we have right now is good, but we need to work on them.

“If new players are coming in with the intention that they can go abroad after playing with us, they will need to achieve and maintain top form. I hope KRL continues producing such players.”

KRL is currently the only club whose players are attracting offers from international clubs, especially after reaching the AFC President’s Cup final last year and winning the PPFL three times in a row since 2011.

Former Pakistan U22 team captain Jadeed Khan, the club’s latest signing, is another example of KRL recruiting potential game-changers for the future.

“We signed Jadeed because he has the potential to become a star,” added Lutfi. “I hope he scores the same way here that he did at [former club] Afghan FC. We chose him because he is valuable, it’s important to induct footballers who have some experience.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2014.