By Majid Shafiq, Head Coach K-Electric
I have a squad here of fantastic humans who are 150% engaged. They are training twice daily. Having the best time of their lives. They are a special squad that represents every corner of Pakistan and have European and African included. For me as a coach I want strong family values in my team and its a must that concentration and learning are always buttons with the switch button as on. I can confidently say that the players have become a rock for me and they know how much their coach is giving to them – for them to become the jewels of Pakistan football.
A week down the line as I lay more demands on them, I am also making complexities into simplicities like in important areas like switch play, transitions, the synchronization of play when we are in possession and also without the ball. I have given responsibilities to the individuals who I see as having the right attributes in our club and they include stepping Essa up into a coach capacity and welcoming Zahid Taj to work with our young and talented GKs.
For Pakistan football to grow in the fast lane professionalism and the right attitude amongst the coaching teams is a must and I take passion in ensuring that there is the correct balance. I give credit where it is deserved and to ensure sustainable growth, we certainly have some who have caught my eye whilst I expect more from others because after my 3 weeks with the boys – they too will demand the level, the approach and the happy success orientated culture that I will have brought in. Its why I am here and its what is needed at every club in our country and its the only way we will transition from unknowns to knowns in global professional club football.
The new boys are settling in well and have now adjusted to the weather and my demands plus expectations. Both are accustomed to previous Pak national camps and have indicated they have never enjoyed a camp so much. They have said they never imagined how close the approach is at KE now to that of a top professional club in Europe and even higher than they have seen at their respect pro and semi pro clubs. That to me is a huge encouragement that we are doing it right and the players are enjoying, learning and building into a Total Football unit.
Both boys will be ready for the AFC and will offer another option either as starters or in the squad. Irfan is visibly a leader and a strong player and Shani has precision in his skill base and both bring an English ‘Get stuck in Zest’ too. I need both a balance of ‘Magicians’ and ‘Luons’ in my squad and who are a handful for any opponent. They are giving it all and are a good team and a set of humans who will make great journeys in football because of their will to learn and deliver and some of the best personalities I feel any club has.
They tell me everyday they are grateful for my time and effort – I tell them daily, thank you for the memories you will (Insha Allah) create for me and our sport. This for me is the right and when the feeling is like this then the time ahead is good. We now take this into several friendly matches and transition learning into performance this weekend and next week. With Sunday and Wilson NOCs sorted – I cannot wait for another 20% addition and this is an exciting period ahead