The Pakistan hockey team began its training camp at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium, Islamabad on Sunday for the upcoming 17th Asian Games to be played at Incheon, South Korea from September 19.
Thirty seven players were selected through nationwide trials for the camp and were directed to report to camp commandant Shahnaz Sheikh at the Pakistan Sports Complex.
“All of the new players were asked to bring documentations for their participation in the Asian Games,” Sheikh told The Express Tribune.
He remarked that the approaching assignment was crucial in Pakistan’s bid to qualify for the Olympics, while they were also set the task of defending their title.
The Olympian is being assisted by other coaches which include Syed Abuzar Umrao (goalkeeper), Nasir Ali (deep defense), Muhammad Shafqat (intermediate defense), Syed Sameer Hussain (front), and Dr Asad Abbas and Adnan as team doctor and physiotherapist respectively.
“We have chalked out a very comprehensive training programme for the players and hope that we will be able to improve the basic skills of new players,” he added.
“We will start with full morning and evening training sessions, focusing on their speed, stamina and physical fitness; we will also work on penalty corners, attack and defence according to the new 15-minute format.
“Besides the field sessions, other days will be followed with training at the gym, swimming and drills. The players will be also be given a video training session on alternate days.”
While declaring Islamabad’s weather and facilities as ideal for the camp he added, “Our focus at the Asian Games will be on India, Korea and Malaysia, who are the stronger teams in the region.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2014.