‘Coaching needs to improve in clubs’

Striker Saadullah believes Pakistan can compete globally if domestic structure improves.

Natasha Raheel May 10, 2015

KARACHI: Pakistan national team striker Saadullah, who returned from a month-and-a-half stint at BG Sports FC in Maldives to prepare for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship, believes that the domestic structure in Pakistan needs massive improvements with special emphasis on the standard of coaching in the country.

The 22-year-old from Pishin, who is quite optimistic about the national side’s chances in the AFC Championship, said that if the domestic coaches were at the same level as the national coaches, Pakistan would start making a significant impact in the international circuit.

“I feel that Pakistan can thrive internationally if our clubs begin coaching on the same standards as the national side,” Saadullah told The Express Tribune. “Although we are the weakest team ranking-wise, I think we can finish among the top two sides as the players and the coaches have worked really hard.”

Former national coach and the man behind KRL’s success in the Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL), Tariq Lutfi, seconded Saadullah’s statement and said that in Pakistan, the general attitude of coaching and management at the club level is not professional enough to get the best out of the players.

“The availability of professional and qualified coaches in the PPFL is an issue,” said Lutfi. “We don’t have the mentality [to push forward] and usually the coaches overlook the strategy and they do not have a methodology either.”

Saadullah is on a break for a few weeks and will join the Maldivian club on May 25, after Pakistan’s campaign at the AFC U23 Championship qualifiers in Al-Ain against Jordan, Kuwait and Kyrgyzstan.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 11th,  2015.

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