Sports Correspondent – Express Tribune
Hajra believes that 2014 has been the best year for women’s football in Pakistan, motivating her to push herself more than ever.
“This has been the best year for me ever since I started playing football,” the national team vice-captain told The Express Tribune. “This was my seventh national championship, but I’ve never been a part of the title-winning team. The achievement definitely makes me happier.”
About her own performance, Hajra said that the 30 goals that she scored in the tournament still feel like a dream.
“Well, the 30 goals was something I wasn’t expecting from myself,” said Hajra. “I had never scored more than 11 goals in the championship’s previous editions.
“I was mainly concentrating on how I can perform to the best of my ability for the team; my priority lies with my squad first.”
She further said that she leads by example and ensures that her teammates remain inspired.
“I make sure that I’m disciplined, that we get enough sleep and that we eat right. It’s important to train hard, so that’s where I put my maximum efforts.”
Hajra also became the first Pakistani female footballer to sign an international contract with the Maldives national women’s league club this year.
The youngster said that during her spell with the Sun Hotels and Resorts FC in Maldives, she learned a lot more as the competition level was better than the local circuit in Pakistan.
“I wasn’t expecting such a vast difference between the Pakistan and Maldives national championships, but I was surprised at the level of competition there. The clubs there have recruited international players from different countries.
“However, I believe women’s football in Pakistan is also witnessing a steady rise.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2014.