KARACHI: Pakistan national team captain Hajra Khan is set to become the first female player in the country to make an appearance in Europe as a professional footballer.
The 20-year-old will travel to Germany on Monday, where she will be taking part in pre-season trials for three clubs.
With a golden opportunity knocking on her door, Hajra believes that this is her chance to prove that football is more about passion and learning about oneself than anything else.
“Playing in Europe has been one of those dreams that I have been aiming for since the very beginning,” Hajra told The Express Tribune. “I’m glad I’ll be going to Germany where football is very competitive, and I’m prepared. I know it won’t be easy, but I want to get the word out there that Pakistanis can play football.”
Read: Women’s football: My hat-trick proves we have talent, says Shahlyla
Hajra will be spending three weeks in Germany and is scheduled to appear for trials at FSV Gutersloh, SGS Essen (Bundesliga) and VFL Sindelfingen. “I’m not afraid of being rejected,” said the Balochistan United striker. “I understand that Germany has a lot of talent and there will be other players too. I know I’ll have my chance and I’ll need to show them the best I can offer.”
Hajra also has the distinction of being the only Pakistani player to have scored 100 goals in her professional club career, and it is her drive to improve her game that keeps her looking for more opportunities abroad.
Read: Women’s football: Passion for football brings interior Sindh to Karachi
“Playing abroad gives you the opportunity to discover your true game as you get to play with diverse clubs and players which is a very different experience from playing at home,” said Hajra. “Money and fame come along with this self-recognition, they are only a by-product. I started here in Pakistan, but I also aimed high and found out more about myself through the sport.”
Meanwhile, Malik Riaz Hai Naveed, Hajra’s consultant in Germany, said that the youngster’s achievement is a huge one for the country. “I haven’t seen anyone who is more tenacious and ready to learn, she doesn’t give up,” said Naveed. “We are hoping for the best results in the trials, these clubs are really interested to test her skills.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2015.
Like Sports on Facebook, follow @ETribuneSports on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.