by Faizan Lakhani
Karachi: The ongoing 13th National Women Football Championship (NWFC) has seen weaker teams being hammered by experienced sides. While the goals’ galore in the championship exposed the vast differences between the two, it has not demotivated the youngsters.
Attiya Banu, the skipper and goal keeper of new entrant Sialkot City FC, feels that the scoreline is not something to worry about. Instead, she was confident that girls are learning from each game.
In an exclusive interview to Geo Super, the 28-year-old said she believes there will be a time when her side will be at the winning end of high scoring games.
“If you’re following our team in NWFC, you’ll see how we have improved with each match,” Attiya said. “The hope is certainly there. We are a new side and competing against top teams, so, I am not at all worried about how many goals are being scored against us. Instead, I am happy that these games are providing girls an opportunity to learn.”
The goal-keeper said that the ongoing tournament is a good learning opportunity for youngsters despite her side conceding 32 goals in three games as they are learning from each defeat. “The results today will motivate them to do better tomorrow. We are conceding dozens this season but soon we will be able to score dozens against others,” she said.
Always smiling and staying energetic on field, Attiya added that being the captain of the side it is her responsibility to keep the players’ morale high. “Sports is all about standing up again after being knocked down,” she said. “I am focusing on the future of this team and girls from Sialkot who are going through a process of learning. Each goal scored against them is a new lesson.”
The Sialkot captain, who also holds a Masters’ degree in Physical Education, said that playing stronger teams is vital to improve their performance. “Teams like WAPDA, Army, KU (Karachi United) have top professional and experienced footballers playing for them,” she said. “Other teams are without any experience or exposure. Girls will learn only when they’ll play against better sides; they’ll learn from their experiences.”
Attiya added that while Sialkot is known for producing cricketers, this time the girls from the city will prove that they can be equally good in football, adding that the club’s management faced an uphill task to convince families of some players who were not allowed to travel for the championship.