by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Former Pakistan head coach and Director Technical of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) Shehzad Anwar said on Wednesday that there was an intense need for the application of national playing philosophy which would help in cohesive team building.
“I mean we will have to work on one playing system throughout Pakistan so that when players assemble for preparation for any international assignment they can easily gel,” Shehzad told ‘The News’ in an interview.
“We direly need to apply such a philosophy. Without that we would not be able to build a cohesive national team,” said Shehzad, who coached Pakistan in the SAFF Cup in Nepal in 2013.
“In Uzbekistan I saw that the style of their under-16 and senior team was the same which shows that they are working on a national playing philosophy,” Shehzad said.
“In Singapore this philosophy is implemented even in schools,” he said.
Sargodha-born Shehzad has almost completed his pro-diploma coaching course. He has completed all the five modules of the course which started in May last year. For the purpose he had to go to Malaysia twice and once each to China, Korea and Switzerland.
Now he will have to work for six months with a sound professional club anywhere in the world. Before attending his fifth module in Switzerland, Shehzad also went to Brazil to work with a club for three weeks in Sao Paulo.
He is expected to visit Sao Paulo again in a couple of weeks to seek an opportunity to work with a club there.
“In Licence C we learnt about individual development and in B we came to know about group tactics. In A we learnt about team tactics and in pro-license we were taught about team or club management and how to deal with professional players,” Shehzad elaborated.
He said there was a great need to use “guided discovery method” by the coaches in order to produce more creative players.
He said for producing desired results there should be no communication gap among the members of the coaching panel. “Everyone of the coaching panel should be clear about the whole programme under which they are to work,” he said.
He said that former Pakistan coaches Mohammad Shamlan and Zavisa Milosavljevic had given solid programmes to Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) but proper work could not be done on such matters.
He said Pakistan’s team direly needed a trainer. “A trainer plays a key role. The head coach first gives a programme to the trainer and then to his other support staff,” Shehzad said.
He said that in Pakistan the aspect of nutrition was generally neglected which affected the performance of the players. “Nutrition is very important, but we don’t see much attention given to it in Pakistan. Although a few players keep themselves fit through sound and selective eating and sleeping habits, but most don’t even know how to keep themselves fit,” the coach said.
Shehzad said Pakistan’s coaching culture was not vibrant enough to produce good results. “Here we cannot tolerate each other. If our coaches are to learn they will need to discuss important things with each other. They should not feel shy in asking questions of their fellow coaches who are more qualified,” Shehzad said.
He was quick to add that there were some good coaches in Pakistan who could deliver properly if they were given exposure.
He said coaches in Pakistan should have their own association which could safeguard their interests.
“In Brazil there exists Brazil Sao Paulo Coaches Union. Similarly, there is a European Coaches Alliance which organises a symposium every year for coaches,” Shehzad said.
He said he was eager to share his knowledge which he had got during his pro diploma course with his fellow coaches in Pakistan. “I have already told the PFF that I am ready to deliver lectures to my fellow coaches,” Shehzad said.
He is also sending a few Pakistani coaches to Sau Paulo next week for attending a coaching course.