By Natasha Raheel, Express Tribune
Essa, who has the record of scoring most international goals for the country revealed that the local talent caught the eye of foreign clubs back in 2006 as well, but the transfer process hampered participation of the players.
However, Essa feels that Kaleemullah and Muhammad Aadil’s move to Kyrgyzstan’s FC Dordoi is a positive sign for Pakistan.
“I used to get offers from Maldives, even India’s Mohan Bhagan FC but it wasn’t easy for us at that time,” Essa told The Express Tribune. “Getting the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the department and even the Pakistan Football Federation was a difficult task, primarily because we needed the internationally sought after players to play for the country. But now things are changing and even the federation is supporting these players.”
Players must have agents: Essa
Essa thinks that Pakistan footballers still need to focus on making their portfolios attractive for the international market.
“We couldn’t go, probably because it wasn’t our time, but I feel that a lot of local players need agents who can represent them in the international market,” said Essa. “I scored 28 international goals for Pakistan, but I needed a proper record, perhaps I should have uploaded these achievements on the internet with videos and marketed myself better”
Essa added that his departmental team K-Electric is on the lookout for players from Nigeria and the process of hiring foreign footballers is very professional.
“We are even learning from the Nigerians. Even they have the structure and a professional approach when it comes to trading the players”. Kaleemullah and Aadil’s teammate at KRL, Muhammad Qasim agreed with Essa and endorsed his claim that many players received offers from various countries in the past.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 2nd, 2014.