By Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: After taking a couple of weeks rest, national footballers will re-assemble in Lahore on Monday (today) to resume their preparation for this year’s international assignments. Pakistan are to compete in the 2015 Under-22 Asian Cup Qualifiers and the Asian Games. The Asian Cup Qualifiers schedule is yet to be unveiled. The Asian Games will be held in South Korean city of Incheon from September 19 to October 4.
This will be the third time that the camp will be held for the purpose. Pakistan’s Bahraini coach Mohammed Shamlan held a ten-day camp last year by stopping the Premier League.
He then held a short camp after the Premier League last month just ahead of their international friendly against Lebanon in Beirut.
The Green-shirts lost that show 1-3 on February 19.
But Shamlan will be missing skipper Kaleemullah in the camp as the country’s star striker has signed a five-month deal with Dordoi Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s most successful club and former AFC President’s Cup champions.
Kaleem is expected to leave for Bishkek on Tuesday (tomorrow).
Nimble winger from Bahawalpur Mohammad Aadil has already joined Dordoi, who are being managed by former Pakistan coach Zavisa Milosavljevic.
Sources said that the camp would last till March 18 after which the players would be released for the National Football Challenge Cup, which would be conducted here simultaneously at KPT Stadium and KMC Stadium from March 25 to April 5.
Sources said that as many as 26 players had been invited for the camp. Some players, who had played against Lebanon last month, had been rested as Shamlan wanted to see some more youngsters, they said.
Shamlan, who left for Bahrain soon after his team returned from Lebanon, was expected to land in Lahore late Sunday night.