KARACHI: Shahbaz Ahmad will only coach the national junior hockey squad if the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) removes its secretary Asif Bajwa from the office, the former captain clarified yesterday.
Ahmad had offered his services to the federation free of charge in order to improve the state of the sport in Pakistan and the PHF had responded to the offer by saying that they wanted him to help out at the junior team camp starting from May 27 in Lahore. However, Ahmad ensured his requirements were considered before he attended the camp.
“I have offered my services to the PHF but only if they are willing to make positive changes,” Ahmed told The Express Tribune. “I am not going to the camp on Bajwa’s terms. I have nothing personal against him but I seriously doubt his capability as the PHF secretary. “I am saying this because these people have no vision for hockey.”
According to the legendary forward, he is willing to share tips with the team because as a former international player he feels the responsibility of guiding the national squad in the right direction but this can only happen if PHF officials would stop applying politics to sports.
“Khwaja Junaid is a good coach but he cannot manage the senior side. It is an art to handle them and I don’t think he can work effectively with them because he has been a junior team coach,” he added.
Ahmad said that the PHF had only appointed Junaid as the national coach for the Azlan Shah Cup because no foreign coach was interested in coming to Pakistan. He also felt that hiring a foreign coach was a bad idea when, according to Ahmad, better options existed at home. He cited Tahir Zaman’s example as a good option but one that did not want to join hands with the PHF due to Bajwa’s presence in the federation.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2010.