Legends Academy Pakistan is here to change football in Pakistan. Having been launched in April it has gone from strength to strength roping in international coaches and developing future Pakistani football players who will be competing on the international level.
Realising the untapped talent in the country and understanding the market in terms of what was lacking and what was needed to leverage local players, founder British Pakistani Hamza Syed decided to go down the unexplored area of football in Pakistan to bring a change.
“This is a first of its kind venture in Pakistan. I love the sport and I want to promote the sport,” said Hamza.
Sponsored by Indus Farming Corporation and partner academies include JSSL FC Singapore, PASS Abu Dhabi, Asia Pacific Soccer Schools and Footie First, Legends Academy is based in Lahore. While there are plans to expand into Karachi, Faisalabad and Islamabad the focus right now is to keep Lahore as its HQ and train children here.
Today, over 300 children consisting of both boys and girls take part in regular training sessions. Currently all three coaches are all ex-Premier League, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Operating as a private entity, Hamza realises that real impact can be achieved if he expands and goes local with coaches and government entities but wants to remain focused on maintaining quality. “I would not mind to work with the Pakistan football federation (PFF), but would prefer to remain independent. I will be working with local coaches too, but the British coaches have international experience and the focus is to train children so they are the best the academy produces.”
At some point there are plans to offer scholarships
“The coaching program was developed in collaboration with Fabio Canyavaso as well as the Italian and English Football Associations. I believe competitiveness helps develop talent so hopefully the Pakistani leagues are reformed so that my players can play on a competitive level,” added Hamza.