LAHORE - Newly-appointed head coach of Pakistan football team Mohamed Shamlan Mubarak Basheer Alshamlan Thursday said Pakistan youth had potential to win glories for the country.

Talking to the reporters during a press conference held here at FIFA house, Shamlan said: “Pakistan players especially youth has a lot of potential if properly harnessed, the national team can bring glories to the country.” He said he was not new in Pakistan as he had already worked in the country with former head coach Shrida in 2005-2006 as his assistant. “I feel very comfortable in Pakistan as it is my second home.”

He reiterated that he had friendly relationship with the Pakistan Football Federation (PFF), most of the senior team players and coaches. “I know it is a challenging situation but I will wholeheartedly work for the better results by changing the current ranking of Pakistan national team in FIFA,” he added.

“Three very basic ingredients/qualities a coach shall be seeking include aggressiveness, discipline and respect to the coach, which are already available in most of the Pakistan players and will help him to make a very good national football team.

Earlier, PFF secretary Lt Col (retd) Ahmed Yar Khan Lodhi introduced Shamlan to media and said the new coach had a previous record of working in Pakistan when he came here as an assistant coach with former head coach of Pakistan national team Shrida.

“In the current situation when the contract with Zavisa is expiring in two months and we were looking for a new more suitable head coach for our national football team, very good brotherly relationships of PFF president Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat with AFC chief Shaikh Salman Bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa (Bahrain) did the job for Pakistan when on our request, Bahrain sacrificed giving their national football team coach Shamlan on a two-year contract with the PFF. Shamlan is being provided gratis/free by Bahrain Football Association hence saving millions of rupees to be spent for the development of football in Pakistan. Getting free coach of a very high caliber for two years is yet another feather in the cap of the PFF president because in the 66 years history, no other football federation could do so,” Col Lodhi added.

The PFF secretary also made a strong appeal to Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif to take interest in removing hurdles in the holding of AFC U-16 Football Championship Qualifiers at Karachi or Lahore. He made the same appeal to Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif that the event could be shifted to Lahore in case Punjab government helped them in getting the required security assurance and provision of suitable venue.