KARACHI: Despite a rest period from his Kyrgyz club FC Dordoi, Pakistan striker Kaleemullah continues to work hard on his fitness in Chaman, Balochistan.
The 21-year-old is determined to hold his own in the central Asian football league in September after signing a contract worth Rs10 million with FC Dordoi for two years this month.
According to Kaleemullah, his journey from Chaman to Bishkek and back has been a fascinating one for him.
“I have proved myself but maintaining my form is also a challenge,” Kaleemullah told The Express Tribune.
“I’m in Chaman, but I’m carrying on with the training drills that my club coach taught me.
“I have to work harder than other central Asian players. I have to make sure that I spend 45 minutes in the gym and train for an hour in the field.”
Kaleemullah said that so far, he has learned three things that are essential for any player in the five months he spent with FC Dordoi.
“I understood very early on in Bishkek that without good control and passing skills, I won’t get far.”
The next important thing the former KRL footballer learned was to make sure he identifies his best position.
“I learned that I perform best as a striker, so I improved on my scoring skills. Thirdly, I have learnt a little Russian and intend to continue once I get back.”
Kaleemullah scored 17 goals in the Kyrgyz league and became the top scorer of the season earlier this month.
Referring to the upcoming two-match series between Pakistan and India in August, he said that the team will need to outdo its current performance graph.
“Pakistan gave tough competition to India in last year’s South Asian Football Federation Championship, but we need to put our heart out there to win this time.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2014.