Natasha Raheel – Express Tribune
KARACHI: Former Pakistan captain Essa Khan believes it is essential for retired players to take up coaching in order to serve the country through football.
The K-Electric skipper, who led the team at the 2008 Fifa qualifiers as well, said he will focus on the coaching job besides playing with his local club in the Pakistan Premier Football League.
Essa completed a refreshers course conducted by Fifa’s German coach Erich Rutemoller on Sunday with 24 more participants, including another former captain Jaffar Khan.
“Pakistani players need grooming, and the general mind-set needs to be improved,” Essa told The Express Tribune.
“For me, coaching is a natural progression. I’ve played my best football for more than a decade for the country, and now I can serve as a coach because I know the game inside out.
“However, my goal is to learn organisational designs, systems and strategies in a more professional way. I believe Pakistan football can’t produce any results until we take things professionally.”
Essa added that the Pakistan Football Federation had taken a good initiative by involving former players in the coaching programme.
“The PFF president was also in the class in order to observe the proceedings. This shows that the federation wants to change the set up.”
The Chaman-based footballer is a License B coach and he will be going for License A next year. He also signed a two-year contract with the Asian Football Confederation for more coaching courses.
“My goal is to do something for the players in Pakistan,” said Essa. “Someday, I also want to open an academy in Karachi, like the one I’m running in Chaman.”
Meanwhile, Jaffar said that he wants to be the first goalkeeping coach in the country.
“I want to be a goalkeeping coach, a qualified one,” said Jaffar. “It’s my field of expertise, and it needs a lot of work in Pakistan. I haven’t seen any outstanding goalkeeper lately.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2014.