Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Pakistan football team’s former skipper Mohammad Essa will join the training camp of the Pakistan team on Thursday (today) as an observer.
He will see the training sessions of the national team, which are being supervised by Bahraini coach Mohammed Shamlan, at the Punjab Stadium in Lahore.
Essa, who serves K-Electric as skipper during domestic competitions, has completed his AFC Licence B coaching course.
The PFF has called him to the camp in order to groom him as a coach.
“Yes, I am leaving for Lahore to join the camp tomorrow,” Essa told ‘The News’ on Wednesday.
“I don’t know what I will have to do. I will know after I meet Shamlan,” the play-maker said.
Former international defender Mehmood Khan has been observing training sessions of the national team for the last few days. “I am witnessing the training sessions. It is a good experience; I have learnt a lot from Shamlan,” Mehmood told this correspondent from Lahore.
Mehmood completed his AFC Licence B course in 2010 and is eligible to apply for Licence A.
“I can apply for Licence A and four years after completion of Licence A, a coach becomes eligible to apply for Pro-Licence,” Mehmood said.
Mehmood coached at Vietnam’s Arsenal Soccer School for ten months in two stints — in 2012 and 2013.
During his association with the soccer school, he also had training sessions with Chelsea’s coaches for three days and then with the coaches of Arsenal and with Swedish players.
“Those sessions helped me a lot,” Mehmood said.
Pakistan’s most experienced gloveman Jaffar Khan was also invited for the camp, but he could not join it because of his engagement in the Army football team camp in connection with the Inter-Services Competitions.
The purpose behind grooming these young coaches is to prepare them for future assignments. They are likely to be given junior teams’ assignments in future.
Mehmood has been given a room with other coaches at the PFF headquarters. “I have no problem here; the PFF is providing me everything free of cost,” said Mehmood.
The same facilities will be provided to Essa.
There are 30 Licence B coaches in Pakistan, while only four have Licence A.
Five coaches are attending Licence A course these days in Bahrain. Shehzad Anwar, a Licence A coach, was sent to Kuala Lumpur last week to begin his pro-Licence course.
Shamlan, who is also serving as PFF’s Director Technical, wants Pakistan to have more qualified coaches. He played a key role in sending five Pakistani coaches for the Licence A course being held in Bahrain.