KARACHI: The team management is banking on a good show from ‘promising’ rookies as the national hockey squad got its training camp underway ahead of the Azlan Shah Cup.
The management has included eight inexperienced players in the list of 22 probables who are training in Islamabad, hoping the young talent will yield positive results ahead of the London Olympics.
“It will bring some healthy competition among the probables,” team manager Khwaja Junaid told The Express Tribune. “They’ve been mainly picked from academies and have no experience of playing for any domestic team. But they’ve shown promise. Initially we picked them because a few probables were attending the junior team’s camp for the Asia Cup.”
Junaid said the training camp plan is covering all aspects of the game, including weak areas like finishing. “Work is being done on improving fitness and technique. In the morning session, players undergo fitness training while in the evening they focus on their practice.”
The Azlan Shah Cup will be played from May 24 to June 3 in which Great Britain, South Korea, New Zealand, Argentina, India and hosts Malaysia will participate.
Meanwhile, penalty-corner specialist Sohail Abbas joined the camp amid concerns over his jaw injury. “He needs to work hard since it’s not easy to make a comeback after a major injury.”
WSH issue: Players called on May 7
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has summoned seven players who featured in the unsanctioned World Series Hockey next month.
The players have been asked to appear on May 7 before the PHF disciplinary committee, headed by Wasay Jalil, at its head office in Lahore. These players include Olympics probables Rehan Butt and Shakeel Abbasi, while Zeeshan Ashraf, Tariq Aziz, Waseem Ahmed, Adnan Maqsood and Imran Warsi have also been summoned.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2012.
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