‘The aim is to prepare, not to win’

Published: May 4, 2012

When the Serb took over, he said the players lacked international exposure and the statement has remained the same since then. PHOTO: FILE EXPRESS

KARACHI: Pakistan national football team coach Zavisa Milosavljevic has – at least for the third time – will be using an upcoming series to prepare for the one that follows, now labelling the Palestine tour as preparation for the AFC Under-22 Championship qualifiers.

Milosavljevic, who has developed a habit of calling every event and series that Pakistan takes part in as preparations and a means to gain international exposure, once again said that the Al-Nakba Tournament, which begins on May 14, will be an ‘opportunity’ to prepare the team for the AFC qualifiers.

“We are looking at the tour as an opportunity since we need to prepare for the AFC Under-22 Championship qualifiers next month,” said Milosavljevic. “This tournament is just a preparation step for the big event.”

However, the coach did add that the team’s performance is difficult to predict. The Al-Nakba Tournament features Vietnam, Indonesia, Iraq, Mauritania, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Jordan and Uzbekistan apart from Palestine and Pakistan. The Serb said that the teams, all of which will be composed of players from different age-groups, will pose a different kind of challenge in the tournament.

“Palestine will be sending their national men’s team, while Vietnam is bringing their under-19 and we are taking our under-22. There is no way of telling how this competition will turn out.”

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2012.

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