Probables named for camp ahead of Sin­ga­pore tour

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -


Pak­istan football team coach Zav­isa Milosavl­je­vic made no se­cret of his de­sire for for­eign-based play­ers as he named eight over­seas play­ers in the list of 26 probables for the na­tional team's train­ing camp ahead of their two friendly matches in Sin­ga­pore.

Eight play­ers from Pak­istan Premier Football League (PPFL) lead­ers Khan Re­search Lab­o­ra­to­ries (KRL) were also picked with the league's top­scorer Kaleemul­lah head­ing that list. Three days later and for that as­sign­ment, the na­tional team will un­dergo a four-day train­ing camp at the PFF House in Lahore from Nov 10 to 14.

The for­eign-based play­ers, how­ever, will not be in at­ten­dance at the camp and will reach Sin­ga­pore di­rectly. "The plan is to com­pose, cre­ate a team that can then be a win­ning out­fit for the all-im­por­tant AFC Chal­lenge Cup qualifiers," Milosavl­je­vic told Dawn from Lahore. "It is our first in­terna- tional match in more than a year so it is nec­es­sary for the play­ers to get a good work­out."

Star de­fender Zesh Rehman heads the list of over­seas play­ers with the tow­er­ing cen­tre­half mak­ing a wel­come re­turn to the na­tional team af­ter a gap of more than a year.

Zesh, who plays for Hong Kong club Kitchee, is en­joy­ing great club form hav­ing led his side to the tre­ble of the Hong Kong First Division ti­tle, the FA Cup and the League Cup.

The for­mer Ful­ham player could be a part of an all-for­eign de­fen­sive line for Pak­istan with Omar Ma­lik, a de­fender from Norwegian sec­ond division side FK Tons­burg, and left-back Shab­bir Khan, who plays low­er­league football in Birm­ing­ham.

Sur­pris­ingly, Ber­lin-born Atif Bashir, who plays for Welsh side Barry Town, has been named in the squad de­spite the de­fender suf­fer­ing from an an­te­rior cru­ci­ate lig­a­ment in­jury. Also amongst the for­eign con­tin­gent are Thai­land-based striker Has­san Bashir who plays for Bangkok club Big Bang Chula United FC, mid­fielder Ad­nan Fa­rooq Ahmed who plays lower-league football in Eng­land and has also played in the Ira­nian first division, and Den­mark-based striker Mo­ham­mad Ali.

An­other Den­mark-based player is goal­keeper Yousuf Ejaz Butt who plays for Dan­ish sec­ond division side Birkerod IF Skjold but will have to fight it out with Pak­istan Army's vet­eran goal­keeper Jaf­far Khan for the No.1 jersey.

Kaleemul­lah and KRL have been in top form in the PPFL and it was no sur­prise to see eight of their play­ers in the team. Milosavl­je­vic, though, be­lieves that only time will tell whether Kaleemul­lah is as good a player at in­ter­na­tional level as he is in the league. "There is a huge gulf in class be­tween the in­ter­na­tional level and the level of the league here in Pak­istan," the Pak­istan coach said. "We'll have to see if Kaleemul­lah can trans­form his do­mes­tic form to that level."

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