Football trials in Lahore tomorrow [The News]

Football trials in Lahore tomorrow [The News]

KARACHI: As many as 35 players will be finalised on Monday (tomorrow) for the men’s senior football team camp which will begin from Tuesday at Punjab Stadium Lahore.

Pakistan team head coach Shehzad Anwar told ‘The News’ on Saturday that 35 players will be finalised on Monday for the camp which aims to prepare lot for future national duty.

Shehzad said that 15 more players had reported for trials after some extra time had been given to them due to flood situation and other reasons and they were tested.

“Most of them belonged to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and its tribal districts. We have shortlisted two of them and we will check them again,” Shehzad said.

Shehzad said that foreign-based players are also on the radar but they will not be able to play in the time-frame which is out of FIFA Days.

“They can only play on FIFA Days. Yes if we are able to arrange friendlies outside FIFA Days then we can request their clubs and if they agree to release them so it will be possible and if not then as per rules nothing can be done as they play in top professional clubs,” Shehzad said.

“But we will consider only top level foreign-based players whose inclusion could benefit the team,” Shehzad was quick to add.

Asked whether any increase will be made in the support staff during training phase Shehzad said the PFF NC has a comprehensive plan to accommodate all mainstream coaches, adding, seven to eight teams will be formed and all will be able to get the opportunity to work.

About goalkeeper Saqib Hanif he said he has reported for the camp. “Yes he has joined us. He is in top shape as he has returned from the Maldives league the other day,” Shehzad said.

The national team is being trained for international friendlies which the PFF NC is trying to manage in near future. This is after long time that national footballers have got an opportunity to undergo drills together to prepare for national duty and according to camp sources all players are very excited and eager to play international matches.

Published in The News, 4 September 2022