U16 footballers meet U19 side tonight

National coach Shamlan to preside over pre-AFC qualifiers match.

Natasha Raheel September 13, 2013
The coach revealed that the U16 side had already played a match with U19 last week that was drawn 1-1. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: Pakistan’s U16 team will look forward to impress national football coach Mohamed Shamlan tonight as they take on the U19 side in a preparatory match for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) qualifiers that will begin on September 23 in Lahore.

Hasan Baloch, who is coaching the juniors’ side for the four-nation event that will also feature UAE, Iran and Sri Lanka, said that Shamlan’s advice and suggestions would undoubtedly help his team to improve before the Group E qualifiers for the AFC U16 Championship.

The coach revealed that the U16 side had already played a match with U19 last week that was drawn 1-1. However, the second fixture will be observed by Mohamed, who will monitor the form and progress of the juniors.

“Shamlan will see the match and I believe that his suggestions will help us a lot,” Baloch told The Express Tribune. “He visited us at one of our practice sessions but didn’t give any tips. However, he will be in a better position tonight to tell us about our game and the improvements that we need to make.

“So far, our practice is going smoothly and I’m satisfied with the fitness of our players. I hope my team defeats the U19 side in this match and impresses Shamlan.”

Baloch further said that the change in venue from Karachi to Lahore will benefit the players.

“It makes sense to hold the qualifiers in Lahore because we always practice here. Furthermore, we are holding our practice matches at night so that our players can also get used to the floodlights since the event will take place after sunset.”

Meanwhile, the coach said that Iran will be the toughest team to beat as compared to UAE and Sri Lanka.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2013.

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