I have come here to contribute: Graham Roberts
By our correspondent
KARACHI: “I am a sportsman and I have come here to contribute. I am here as your friend. I am not afraid of anything and security is no problem for me,” former English footballer Graham Roberts, whose’ services have been hired by the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) as a coaching consultant, said on Thursday. Roberts, who also addressed a press conference in Lahore on Thursday, has been installed as a coaching consultant for an initial period of two months.
“Roberts is a big name in English football. He is also FIFA’s ambassador for peace along with Michael Ballack, captain of Germany. We have been able to convince him to come to Pakistan. And one day we will also be able to bring Ballack also,” Director Marketing of the PFF Sardar Naved Haider told ‘The News’ after the press conference.
Naved said that it is a great achievement of the PFF marketing wing to arrange Roberts through Touch Sky Sports, a leading marketing company in England, saying, let’s see how much he is able to prove himself beneficial for the Pakistan’s football.
“Besides sharing his experience with the coaches, he will also be beneficial for installing few of our top players in the English clubs,” Naved said.
He said that Roberts told him the other day that he would try to get internship for few Under-14 boys of Pakistan in English clubs next year, adding, he also pinpointed four to five boys in the national team camp and said that they are capable to play in English clubs.
“Keeping in view all such things, Roberts would prove be a great asset for the country not only on technical side but also in marketing and profile building,” Naved pointed out.
“If he proved himself as a consultant then we will sit with him after two months and will make a long-term contract with him so that his services could be utilised up to the optimum level,” Naved said.
He said that the head coach Akhtar Mohiuddin is very happy with the attitude of Roberts and he is hopeful that the duo will develop a good coordination.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan football team is currently preparing in Lahore for the Asian Games slated to be held in China next month.
Former Yeovil and Clyde manager Roberts — who won six caps for England in the 1980s, will be given good security during his stay and movement in Pakistan, the PFF official said.