KARACHI: Pakistan senior football team former head coach Shehzad Anwar has started his coaching stint with the Brazilian club SKA FC.
Shehzad, the only Pro License holder in Pakistan, has been serving as an assistant coach of the club since March 1.
He said it is a good learning experience for him there to do coaching.
“It’s a different culture here, top-level pitches and quality equipment and you know the status of Brazil which is a global football giant,” Shehzad told ‘The News’ from Santana de Parnaiba, a city and municipality in the state of Sao Paulo.
“I have worked with both Under-20 and Under-23 teams of the same club during the last few days and in the next few days it will be known which team I will go ahead with as both have events ahead.
Look, in the Under-20 team, whose head coach is former Pakistan Brazilian coach Jose Nogueira, there are two Pakistani players, one Syrian, one from Japan while the rest are Brazilians. The language is also different and so it’s a nice experience,” said Shehzad, also a former Director Technical of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF).
Former defensive midfielder Edmílson Moraes, who had helped Brazil lift the 2002 World Cup trophy, is the president of Ska FC Brasil based at Santana de Parnaíba.
Shehzad is no stranger to Brazil’s club environment as he has also worked there in Sao Paulo with clubs in connection with his Pro License practical sessions.
Islamabad-based club Popo FC’s two young footballers Waleed Khan and Mohammad Rizwan are also training with the same club. Waleed is a striker while Rizwan is a midfielder.
“The club is playing a role in nurturing new talent from abroad too and Rizwan and Waleed are also part of that phase. They are good players and we have worked very hard on them for one and a half years in Islamabad. They look good and will further learn when they will spend some time here. The experience of playing here also will help them prepare for some top-level professional stints in the Asian market in future,” he said.
Shehzad said that the club has no issue of accommodation. “It’s a hilly area, scenic and very good for training,” Shehzad said.
Shehzad’s top priority, though, is Pakistan’s duty and whenever the country’s football matter will get settled, he may come and join national duty.
“Yes, Pakistan comes first. I will definitely come for national duty if the football matter is resolved and will resume work on the national team,” he assured.
“There was no assignment back home so I decided to work off-shore and this will also help me learn and it will make a difference when I will then join the national duty,” Shehzad explained.