FootballPakistan.Com Webmaster and Chief Editor Malik Riaz Hai Naveed was able to talk to Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Goalkeeper Syed Sultan Ali. Check out the exclusive Interview.
Syed Sultan Ali
Weight 70 kg
Height 5 foot 10 inches
Hello Sultan, thanks for taking time out for us. Please tell us about your playing history, when did you start etc?
Syed Sultan Ali:
I started playing in 2004 by playing for my school team, a little after that I started playing for a club side called Nazimabad Sports Club as a forward. It was there that my coach advised me to play goal-keeper regularly as the GK position at the club was vacant, and there I impressed everyone with my agility. My coach Arshad Jamal supported me a lot and sent me to Habib Bank for training. I used to go there on Fridays for Goal-Keeping training and I improved a lot! After a year I got called to the Pakistan u-17 team. I impressed them there and got a call up to the main squad. But it was a disappointment for me as due to incomplete documents and paperwork I could not play.
6 months passed and the Bahraini Coach Ahmed Shareda saw me during trials and I was quite young he asked me to come again the next time. I started training with Pakistan Navy and got into their U-21 side. Wohaib Club organized in Lahore a u-21 cup in which my performance was exceptional and I got a call up to the National Team Camp. It had 10 goal-keepers from which only 4 were going to be selected for the SAFF Games and Alhamdulilah I got selected for the next camp. I trained for 3 months but was left out of the main team. I then played for the u-21 Pakistani squad and performed well but I was targeted there and never got a fair chance as the then Goal-Keeping Coach Afzal was from Army and he preferred a goal-keeper from his own department and got me out of the squad saying that I will get a chance next time. After that I have been called up for the National Team on 11 occasions!
I am now the number one goal-keeper for Pakistan International Airlines.
What needs to be changed in Pakistani Football?
1. I would like to change the League System in Pakistan
2. I would ensure fair selection
3. I will like to see academies promoted
4. I will love to have sponsors engaged
5. I will like to see Youth Level Programmes
Do you see any chance of playing international?
I think my performances call for more international games and more chances as I have done really well. In my international career I have played against Ghana and India both were 0-0 draws. I am the only Goal-Keeper on international level never to have conceded a goal and who has a career clean sheet!