First from the country: Shahzad on the verge of pro coaching licence [Express Tribune]

First from the country: Shahzad on the verge of pro coaching licence [Express Tribune]

KARACHI: Anwar Shahzad is on his way to becoming the first Pakistani to receive an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) pro coaching licence once he finishes his course in Switzerland this month.

The Sargodha-based former national player believes that the last two weeks of his AFC pro course may well decide his future.

“It is a big opportunity and this will help change many things in Pakistan football,” Shahzad told The Express Tribune. “I’ve been working for this course for the last two years and can say that this will boost Pakistani coaches too. I’ve been to Brazil recently to study the footballing structure there.”

The 37-year-old was also named the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) technical director earlier this year but kept the job on hold in order to work on receiving his pro licence. He will reach Switzerland by October 18 for the course, where he will present his thesis on the standard of Pakistani football.

He also spent three weeks in Brazil recently, observing the training sessions of the Brazilian U17 team and assisted the training camps for several clubs, including Fluminense, Portuguesa FC and Audax FC.

On his tour, Shahzad said that he analysed Brazilian Serie A matches between Flamengo and Joinville as well Sao Paulo v Palmeiras.

“It was an eye-opening experience; it was a part of my programme but it taught me a lot, and I realised that all Pakistan lacks is the required amount of professionalism and environment; otherwise we have the talent,” said Shahzad, who began his coaching career in 1997 as a trainer in a local school.

While his playing career was mainly restricted to the juniors’ national team — with only several appearances for the national side — Shahzad has coached all age groups for PFF while also working as the assistant coach for the national side.

Shahzad said he will choose talented younger coaches for a Sitrefesp programme in Brazil after October 30. He finalised the details with Brazilian Football Confederation coaches and officials Professor Jose A Noguira and Lenordo Neiva.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2015.