The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) selection committee will assemble in Islamabad on Thursday to select the country’s final 18-man squad for the Asian’s Champions Trophy.
The PHF confirmed yesterday that the committee comprising chairman Hanif Khan, Arshad Ali and Khalid Bashir will witness the day-long trials at the Naseer Bunda Stadium and will announce the squad on the same day.
A PHF official confirmed that the selectors may make a few changes and are likely to include several youngsters in the squad for the event that will be held in Ordos, China from September 3. The selectors have already rested - due to various reasons - Sohail Abbas, Rehan Butt and goal-keeper Salman Akber and a few surprise inclusions are expected in the squad.
“With a few changes expected in this squad, the PHF has also decided not to experiment after this event,” the official told The Express Tribune. “The selectors may opt for new faces to check their bench- strength which will give a clearer picture for the Champions Trophy that takes place at the end of the year.”
While the Greenshirts are also expected to play a series against India and Australia this year, the Champions Trophy will be the last major assignment before next year’s Olympics.
Eight junior players join camp
Meanwhile, the training camp is currently in full swing in Islamabad under the supervision of coach Michel van den Heuvel. The team manager Khawaja Junaid confirmed that eight players who recently toured Egypt with the junior team have joined the camp.
“The camp is going well,” said Junaid. “The players are working hard and are undergoing two training sessions per day.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2011.
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