|PPFL: Recruiting players a no-go for Army|
24 October 2012
KARACHI: Despite being plagued by injuries to key strikers and struggling to score with the fit ones, Pakistan Army manager Major Shafqat Mehmood has ruled out recruiting players as he believes that it will still not guarantee good results at the Pakistan Premier Football League (PPFL).
Army are placed third in the PPFL table but Mehmood believed the club can compete for the top spot with the available bunch of players.
The manager stressed that the club will stick to its policy of nurturing home-grown talent and will not resort to buying players from other clubs to bolster their ranks.
“It all comes down to the survival of the fittest,” Mehmood told The Express tribune. “My players have proved their worth and I stick by my decision of never having transfers in my club. Neither do I encourage exchanging players from other clubs nor do my players get tempted to join them.
“More money can’t trump the opportunity of having a permanent job and better facilities that cover their medical expenses. My players are off-market. We have stuck to this policy for 12 years now and winning two titles 2005 and 2006 has proved me right. This season is definitely going to be ours.”
Mehmood handed promotions to seven players from the under-22 squad of the team including bright prospects like Abdul Rehman, Shahid Zamir and Masroor. He added that the idea behind promoting young footballers to the first team is that they play a vital role in the later stages of the league when exhaustion starts to set in after back-to-back matches.
“Wapda have suffered because of the lack of young legs in the team. The four-time champions are struggling in the league as the current squad is too old to keep performing at the same level throughout the season. They are a prime example of why teams should keep injecting young blood into the first team.”
Army currently have 31 points behind KRL and KESC in first and second place respectively. They have won nine matches, drawn four and faced three defeats in the season.
While Army’s defensive record of conceding just five goals in 16 matches so far is exemplary, their problem lies in attack with the team scoring just 17 goals in the season. With key striker Imran Ghani injured, the scoring responsibility has come to down to Ansar Abass. The striker is the club’s highest scorer scoring 10 out of the 17 goals and hopes to continue his goal-scoring form in the league.
“There are only two factors driving us, me at scoring and Jaffar Khan at our goal-post. Khan’s presence does half the job but in Imran’s absence, I make sure I score at least one goal to keep the momentum going,” said Abbas.
KRL continue league dominance
Meanwhile, KRL continued to dominate the PPFL, defeating Navy 2-1 in Lahore, while PAF crushed NBP 3-1 to regain fourth position in the league.
In Islamabad, HBL and ZTBL played a goalless draw and Wohaib FC won their first match of the league against Baloch FC 1-0 in Lahore.
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