Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) plans to hold various bilateral series for the Saff winning under-16 squad in order to prepare them for the 2013 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) under-19 Championship.
“It’s encouraging to see that the PFF is making these efforts to retain players till they are old enough for the senior squad,” team coach Sajjad Mehmood told The Express Tribune. “We’ve always had the talent but we’ve failed to groom that into world class footballers.
According to Mehmood, the PFF has proposed series against regional nations to give the juniors more exposure.
“The federation has also informed us that they will name the team Pakistan Youth Team which will represent the country in different regional festivals and tournaments. It’s encouraging that the PFF is investing in youth as these players will replace the seniors in the national team.”
However, Mehmood said the team’s biggest challenge was to qualify for the 2012 AFC Championship. Pakistan will take on Maldives in their first mach at the qualifiers on September 12 in Kuwait.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.