KARACHI: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) on Sunday announced the appointment of head coach Khawaja Junaid and assistant coaches Mohammad Sarwar and Mohammad Rafiq for the upcoming Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, scheduled to be held from April 6 in Malaysia.
Junaid would be replacing former coach Hanif Khan, who has been made the camp commandant, and would oversee the preparations of the team for the event.
“We will initially begin training with two sessions of three hours each per day,” said Junaid, while talking about the training routine to The Express Tribune. “In the morning session, the players will be focusing on their fitness and basic game training, while in the evening session we will be working on how to handle elementary flaws during the game.”
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The new coaching staff has already begun training sessions after 41 players reported for the second phase of the camp on Sunday and Junaid remains confident of the team’s prospect ahead of the mega event.
“The players are in good form, they have recently won a gold medal [South Asian Games] and have been awarded by the Prime Minister which has raised their confidence,” he said.
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Nine more players will join the camp later. Three of them — Mohammad Irfan, Rashid Mehmood and Mohammad Rizwan — are currently playing in foreign leagues, while six — Qwaisur Rehman, Samiullah, Shaharyar, Zeeshan, Ali Akber and Qazi Asfand — are currently taking part in the National Junior Championship.
Meanwhile, Junaid revealed that 30 players would be selected for the final phase of the camp after a week, while the final team would be announced on March 15.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 7th, 2016.
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