Sports Correspondent – The News
KARACHI: Pakistan’s Bahraini coach Mohammed Shamlan on Monday surprisingly dumped goalkeepers’ coach Aslam Khan, bringing in the inexperienced Zahid Taj in his place ahead of the national brigade’s international assignments this year.
“Shamlan has prepared a list in which Zahid Taj has been inserted as goalkeeper coach in place of Aslam,” a well-placed source close to the development told The News.
However, a top official of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) did not confirm it.
“I have not received any official information about this,” PFF Director Development and Competitions Pervez Saeed Mir told ‘The News’.
This correspondent tried to contact Shamlan but he was not receiving the call.
Aslam had been doing a great job as a goalkeeper coach since 2009. He has prepared a bunch of fine keepers also including Saqib Hanif, Muzammil Hussain, Tanvir Mumtaz, Shehroz and Ihsanullah during his career and was regarded as a remarkable goalkeeper coach.
On Pakistan’s recent tour of Palestine, goalie Ihsanullah had done a great job by saving several goals in the match against tough Jordon which the Greenshirts had lost 1-0 when they conceded the winner on penalty in the first minute.
Pakistan’s assistant coach Hasan Baloch was full of praise for Ihsanullah who was trained by Aslam.
“Ihsanullah was excellent under the cage,” Hasan had told ‘The News’ in an interview after the Al-Nakba Tournament in Palestine last month.
Shamlan’s decision to remove Aslam has irked former Pakistan coach Tariq Lutfi.
“I don’t know about the development and if it has really happened like this then I would say it is not a good decision,” Lutfi said.
“Aslam had not only a bright career as a player with the PIA but he has also set a good trend in goalkeeping coaching and was working very hard,” he said.
“He is still the best goalkeeper coach and will remain so. And if any one who can replace him will be Jaffar Khan,” Tariq stressed.