Hockey development director urges departmental revamp

Alam wants domestic teams to replenish ageing squads with young blood


Nabil Tahir January 05, 2017
NEW BLOOD NEEDED: Alam has linked Pakistan hockey's dearth of new talent with departments' insistence on sticking with their current players. PHOTO COURTESY: PHF

KARACHI: Pakistan Hockey Federation's (PHF) director domestic and planning Naveed Alam has cited the talent drought of the last five years to stress on the need for a revamp in departments.

Talking to The Express Tribune about the outcome of the National Hockey Championship, which PIA won to complete a hat-trick of titles, Alam said, “I have visited many districts and regions and have found many talented players but the problem is that the departments are just not interested in nurturing that talent for future use.”

He further elaborated the problem, saying: "They have had the same players for the last five years and need to replenish their ageing squads by holding trials and giving jobs to emerging players, who can then hone their skills in domestic competition.”

PIA clinch National Hockey Championship


As per Alam, the recent championship's best emerging player Sharjeel — who scored three hat-tricks for Police — is unemployed and was contracted by his department just for the championship.

“Sharjeel does not have a job. He was picked out of nowhere and he turned out to be the best player,” revealed Alam.

Alam also questioned the credentials of the talent pool of juniors. “90% of NBP's team was composed of players who attended national junior camp for three months and even then they lost in the final, which has forced us to reassess and look to induct new players,” he informed.

PHF welcomes PCB’s decision to hold PSL final in Lahore


Alam, who has travelled extensively within Pakistan for the game’s development, also made the announcement that the PHF will be organising a National Championship for the divisions in March, for which 59 teams have already registered.

“I went to each district and division and asked the Deputy and Assistant Commissioners to use the allocated 4% of the total budget for sports development and for holding divisional championship. This has already started and the top teams will now take part in March’s event,” he said.

PIA, NBP to contest final


Meanwhile, following the conclusion of the National Hockey Championship, the selectors are planning to make a combined pool of seniors and juniors, who will then be put through their paces in a training camp for the preparation of the FIH Hockey World League Semi-Finals, which will be held in London from June 15 to 25.

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