By Alam Zeb Safi, The News
KARACHI: Pakistan’s newly appointed Bahraini coach Mohamed Shamlan seems to have a vision and a solid plan which will help him produce a fighting Pakistan football team for the future challenges.
Shamlan says Pakistan is full of talent, which only needs qualitytraining and international matches against tough sides. “I know that there is a lot of talent in Pakistan. But the national team needs quality training and big games and it is the only way through which the country will be able to raise its standard,” Shamlan told ‘The News’ in an interview from Lahore on Monday.
The coach will discuss his future plan and requirements for forming a better side with the top officials the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) soon. “I will deeply discuss with the PFF what I have thought for making better the future of Pakistan football. We will discuss where we should hold camps and against whom we should play matches. I think it would be much better if we are able to plan matches on FIFA days. We will discuss all these things and will chalk out a comprehensive plan as soon as possible,” says Shamlan, who worked as an assistant to former Pakistan coach Salman Ahmed Sharida in 2005-2006.
PFF have got the services of Bahrain’s seasoned tactician for two years with the blessings of the Bahrain Football Association (BFA).Shamlan said that one should learn from how Japan have made such a great achievement in football. “Japan have become the best team of Asia not because they have been playing in Japan but because they mostly play in Germany, the United Kingdom and in other top quality football countries,” Shamlan pointed out.
Shamlan went with the Pakistan team as consultant for the SAFF Cup in which the Greenshirts failed to go beyond the group stage. “I am very happy with the way Pakistan played in the SAFF Cup irrespective of the result. There were mistakes and several flaws in the team. There was a goalkeeping blunder and some other errors and still there are several problems. But you know I had not selected the players and will try to remove all these flaws of the players,” said the coach.
About foreign-based players the coach said that they would remain under his radar. “I have talked to Zeeshan Rehman, Hasan Bashir, Yousuf Butt and others in Nepal. They are good players and they should be kept in contact and we will try to keep them under our radar. Some had fitness problems. I will need some top fitness level,” the coach said.
In a bid to pick quality players Shamlan has started watching the ongoing Premier League matches.“I have been watching the Premier League matches in Lahore and I also plan to come down to Karachi to see the players,” said the coach.
He said only those would be considered for the national duty who performed well in the league. “The league is like an open forum and a stage for demonstration of skills and fitness for the players. And I ask all the players that whoever will show top skills and quality will be considered for the national duty,” Shamlan said.
He said that there was a need for improvement in the Premier League.“I agree with you that Pakistan needs to improve its league. But you know there are countries who are progressing without having good leagues. And the basic reason behind their progress is that they focus on quality training,” Shamlan pointed out.
He asked all the Pakistani coaches to give their hundred percent for the promotion of football in Pakistan. “I ask all the coaches to joinhands and work for the promotion of Pakistan football. They should hold discussion on how the flaws of the players could be removed and how quality players could be produced. They should help each other,” the coach said