KARACHI: K-Electric (KE) plans to become the first Pakistan Premier Football League department to launch an U16 girls programme along with the boys’ this year.
KE Head of Sports Mahmood Riaz said it is the long-term goal of the youth development programme, and inclusion of the female footballers in the sport is highly crucial.
“We’ve been concentrating more on training boys at the moment; the U16 Lyari League, which concluded last month, began with it as well,” Riaz told The Express Tribune.
“But it is also crucial to assure female participation. We’ll be making a girls team too with the help of Naseem Hameed Academy and would target areas such as Malir, Lyari, Korangi and others. It’s all part of the plan.”
Riaz added he is looking forward to the approval of the programme’s budget in July, and further revealed that KE plans to hold a youth festival in January or February next year and the football teams will be a part of it as well.
So far, none of the major departments or clubs work on girls’ football exclusively, and KE’s initiative will help attract youth to the sport in the long run too.
Riaz further revealed that six ‘talented’ boys shortlisted from the Lyari League will train with the seniors’ team in July and the boys’ juniors U16 team may get to go on tour.
“We’ll try to make international participation of our junior teams possible too if all goes according to plan and we find a good tournament to compete in,” said Riaz. “We’ve also planned to hire junior players for a year and give them a stipend too.”
He said that the first phase of assembling the junior teams will begin in July.