By Shahrukh Sohail, Chief Editor, Islamabad
Former SSGC striker Saadullah is loving life in the Maldives Premier League. The Pakistan International was signed by BG Sports earlier in May and admits that his new surroundings are far more professional than what he is used to.
“There is a major difference between clubs in Pakistan and BG Sports. In Pakistan, you don’t learn anything new in training, whereas over here, we tailor the entire training session based on our upcoming games,” said Saadullah while exclusively talking to FootballPakistan.com.
While the Pakistan Premier League has struggled to attract corporate interest and relies most only on departmental teams, Maldives has taken huge strides in their development and currently boast a highly professional league setup that works in tandem with large firms to take the game to the masses. “The Dhivehi league is very professional and the clubs too, as they also hire 4 foreign players per team. The training is also similar to what we get in the National Team. The food we get here is pretty good; most of the clubs have their own restaurants for players,” adds Saad.
The youngster from Pishin is one of four foreign players at BG Sports and his counterparts include Spain’s David Carmona, ex-Trinidad and Tobago International Sean Bateau and Nigerian Daniel Philemon. The mix of cultures is interesting and Saad claims that the management has been extremely helpful in settling them in.
“I didn’t like Male very much at first, it was very congested. Then we saw Hulumale and all four of our foreign-based players including me requested the management to shift us there. They were very accommodating and we love living in beautiful Hulumale now,” said the ex-KRL man.
For BG Sports, winning the title seems a little farfetched, but the club is very realistic about challenging for domestic honours despite having a grueling, eleven game schedule in August. “We have seven games to go and we are hopeful of finishing 2nd in the league. Our main target for the season, though, is the FA Cup, which will be starting after twenty days.”
For Saadullah, the move to Maldives has been a god-send and the attacker is aiming even higher for next year.
“I have big plans for 2016. Insha’Allah, I hope to share some good news in the coming months,” he added whilst signing off.