KARACHI: Pakistan senior hockey team’s preparations for the Hockey World League (HWL) Semi-finals are in full swing as their training camp has entered the final phase.
The team, announced last week, has been playing practice matches against Pakistan Whites, with both the sides featuring a blend of international players, giving the selected players a good run-out before the big tournament
“The players in both the teams are ones who have been attending the camp for the last two months, but those picked in the final team justified their selection by winnings three straight matches against Pakistan Whites,” head coach Khawaja Junaid told The Express Tribune.
He further said that his charges have especially worked on their speed and passing, whereas the attacking players have been put through finishing drills to improve their efficiency in front of the goal.
“This team is scheduled to face some of the top teams of the world so they will have to be skilled and know all the modern techniques,” said Junaid.
Meanwhile, team captain Abdul Haseem Khan is confident of putting on a good show, thanks to the hard work him and his boys have done during the camp.
“We have been working really hard for this tournament under our head coach,” said Haseem. “We have learned some new tricks and techniques which will surely help us in facing top nations.
“Our goal is to reach the final of the tournament and prove that Pakistan is once again a force to be reckoned with in the world of hockey.”
The tournament is set to begin from June 15 in London, where Pakistan and nine other countries will be vying for seven berths of the finals.
Pakistan have been placed in pool B alongside arch-rivals India, Netherlands, Canada and Scotland, while Pool A features Argentina, England, South Korea, Malaysia and China.
Pakistan will play their first match against Netherlands on the opening day of the tournament before facing India in their third match on June 18.