by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) has hired the services of Brazilian trainer Jose Roberto Portella, a senior official of the federation confirmed on Friday.
“Yes, we have hired a Brazilian trainer,” the official said. When asked for how long his services have been hired the official said that whenever there would be a camp he would be with the team.
This is the second major decision the PFF has taken within a month. It had already hired Brazilian coach Jose Antonio Nogueira who has shortlisted players during the National Challenge Cup for forming teams for international events.
Both Nogueira and Portella belong to Sao Paulo. A source in the PFF told this correspondent that Portella is a qualified trainer and has worked with different clubs in Brazil.
The source said that arrangements for his arrival were being made. “It is expected that he will arrive in Lahore a couple of days before the start of the national camp,” the source said.
A trainer is an integral part of the support staff of a coach and he acts under the instructions of the coach. The PFF has almost given final touches to the national camp which is likely to begin at Lahore from May 25.
The camp is being held to prepare teams for Asian Games and SAFF Championship to be held later this summer. The Asian Games are penciled in for August 18 to September 2 in Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang. SAFF Championship will be conducted in Bangladesh from September 4 to 15.
Nogueira will be working with both senior and under-23 teams. An under-23 team, with only three senior players, will be fielded in the Asian Games. In SAFF Championship, a full senior team can be fielded.
Sources said as many as 48 home-grown players have been invited to the camp for which venue has not been decided. “There are a few options. A final decision will be made by Monday,” a PFF source said.
“The PFF president will also come tomorrow to finalise things,” the source said. Only home-grown players will attend the first phase of the camp. The players based in other countries will join the camp in the second phase, which will begin after mid-June.
The accommodation issue has been resolved as it has been decided that the players will stay at the Sports Board Punjab’s (SBP) hostel, which has good facilities. The support staff of Nogueira is yet to be finalised.
Pakistan will return to international circuit in the Asian Games after three years of inactivity because of a conflict between two groups of officials. The players looked rusty in the recently held National Challenge Cup. It will be a big test for Nogueira to prepare a fighting lot for the two assignments.