Van den aims to change Pakistan’s fortunes

Published: June 21, 2010
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Michel van den Heuvel overlooks proceedings on the opening day of the training camp at the Hockey Club of Pakistan in Karachi. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ JALAL QURESHI

Michel van den Heuvel overlooks proceedings on the opening day of the training camp at the Hockey Club of Pakistan in Karachi. PHOTO: EXPRESS/ JALAL QURESHI

The newly-appointed Pakistan hockey coach Michel van den Heuvel took charge of his duties with an aim to change fortunes of the team that is experiencing its worst slump in recent times.

The former Holland national coach, who arrived in the city on Sunday night, took control of the team immediately and supervised proceedings on the opening day of the camp that started at Karachi’s Hockey Club of Pakistan yesterday.

“I’m here with an aim to make the team one of the top units in the world,” said Heuvel after the training session. “I’ll try to produce my best and help the team in regaining its lost standards.”

The coach, who will earn approximately Rs1.1 million per month, rejected the notion that he accepted the job for the money. “It wasn’t just the money that attracted me. I took up the offer as a challenge,” he said before adding that Pakistan have been giants in the world of hockey and he wanted to see the same image of the team under his reign.

“It’s not impossible for the team to retain top spot. Pakistan has loads of talent and there are some players who can still help the team in achieving the top spot.”

The coach, who held the training session in the presence of a handful of police officials, denied security was a concern for him. He said that his first target was next month’s European tour where Pakistan will be play France, Spain and Holland.

Juniors need coach more than seniors

Meanwhile, chief selector Hanif Khan felt there was a need of the foreign coach for the junior players instead of the seniors as working with the experienced players would not do any wonders.

The Olympian said that the foreign coach should have been appointed for the budding youngsters and upcoming talent.

“It’s never easy to change the approach of the senior players and in contrast working with the youngsters could yield favourable results.”

Drag-flick specialist Sohail Abbas, Muhammad Zubair and Muhammad Tauseeq were the players to miss the opening day of camp that saw routine exercises under the supervision of the new coach. According to team manager Manzoor Hussain, Abbas was absent without giving notification while Zubair and Tauseeq will join the camp soon.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2010.

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Reader Comments (6)

  • Ray
    Jun 22, 2010 - 3:11AM

    I don’t know what is wrong with Pakistani media because they always want to question the integrity and professionalism of a foreign coach for any sport. First they ran off the cricket coaches and now they should have been welcoming of a new professional hockey coach because it stank badly instead they were being shamefully rude to a new comer who had scarified a lot to come here.
    Hanif Khan, the chief selector is another village idiot who is making a fool of himself without giving the new manager even chance to succeed. If he is so good why his selected teams have been bust.
    He needs to be shown the door and let the coach make all the decisions re. selection because it will be his neck on the line not spineless unprofessionals and unsportsmens like Hanif Khan ‘s. He is least interested in progress of Pak hockey but more concerned about protecting the status quo and system of saffarish. Let Hanif go now too because he had already made a fool of himself. Give this man tools to succeed. He can’t succeed unless he selects best players that he needs without interference- it is coaches who decide who plays and who doesn’t.
    Media would rather that we continue with the lackeys and saffarishi coaches who lack even the basic coaching skills.
    I am glad govt made the right decision and we need to do the same for cricket Pakistan doesn’t have professional coaches of a international caliber in any sport.Recommend

  • Jun 22, 2010 - 12:15PM

    dear brother

    it is not the case that the national media always criticise the foreign coaches but it is the fact that the results produced by the national coaches is well and astonish as compared to the foreign coaches you would be clear about it when you check the history of the pakistani milestones in the world of sportsRecommend

  • Tafseer
    Jun 22, 2010 - 2:32PM

    RE:
    “it is not the case that the national media always criticise the foreign coaches but it is the fact that the results produced by the national coaches is well and astonish as compared to the foreign coaches you would be clear about it when you check the history of the pakistani milestones in the world of sports”

    Well, I will beg you to provide me any commendable result after the 1994. Yes, I agree that we have had a lot of good players and lots of laurels, but the last laurel after 1994 that I can think of is a last position at the recent world cup. I will agree with Ray, lets just give this coach a chance, we should not just shunt him out without giving him a proper job. As far media goes, they really s**k atm. Yes, I agree with factual journalism and the TRUTH, but making a mockery of everyone and everything would not get this media any far. I have never seen the media praising and buoying up any one or any thing to perform better. Its always criticism, which is the most easy thing to do. People will point to USA about the freedom of media, but you tell me one thing: Is 80% of our population really literate? And do we really HONOR the freedom of speech for every one? They are a society with many pluses, whereas you do not want to get me started on our society.Recommend

  • Ray
    Jun 22, 2010 - 8:45PM

    Br. Malik,
    Please don’t make me cry because I laughed so hard after you said that local coaches have produced astonishing results like last place finishes, yes that is a commendable result! :-).
    Ray G.Recommend

  • Hamood
    Jun 22, 2010 - 9:57PM

    Coach’s nationality does not matter, the only thing that matters is the results. Whoever brings the best results gets to stay whether foreign or local.Recommend

  • Muhammad Niaz
    Jun 23, 2010 - 11:05AM

    Mr. Van den, with the salary of 1.1 Million PKR + other 0.5 Million (House,Cell,Conveyance,car etc etc) you should have to try to change the fortune of Pakistan Hockey…. (‘,’) !!!!!!!Recommend

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