KARACHI: Pakistan hockey team will begin its final phase of preparations for the 2012 London Olympics with a training camp in Abbottabad from tomorrow.
The team’s fitness will be the centre of attention and help from Army trainers will be sought for the purpose.
The camp will take place at the Army Sports and Physical Training School that lies at an altitude of 1,260 metres.
Coach Khwaja Junaid said the venue was chosen to give players the ‘best possible training’.
“Abbottabad was the best option,” Junaid told The Express Tribune. “The climate in the other cities is different than that in London. This venue is also good because it’s above sea-level and training there increases stamina.”
The coach said that Army trainers will also give tips to the players. “They’ll give some useful advice but we’ll ensure that we don’t put the players under too much pressure.”
PHF mulls over captaincy
Meanwhile, the return of senior players in the preliminary squad has set off a captaincy debate. Sohail Abbas recently led the side in the Azlan Shah Cup and the Europe tour. However, he may be replaced due to the return of Shakeel Abbasi, Mohammad Imran, Rehan Butt and Waseem Ahmed. Junaid confirmed that the captain’s position was open after the seniors’ return.
Meanwhile, Abbasi and Abbas appeared to be strong candidates, according to another official.
“Some people want continuity which will favour Sohail although there’s a difference of opinion in his leadership qualities,” said another official. “But Shakeel is also a strong candidate because he’s the fittest among all the seniors and is an aggressive player.”
Published in The Express Tribune, 25th, 2012.