KARACHI: The selection committee of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has announced the names of the players who will participate in the forthcoming Youth Olympics at Nanjing, China from August 16.
The team was finalised by selection committee members Khalid Bashir and Musaddiq Hussain in consultation with head coach Tahir Zaman after trials at the Johar Hockey Stadium on Friday.
The squad comprises Shiraz Hafeez, Sikandar Mustafa, Junaid Kamal, Bilal Mahmood, Shan Irshad, Nohaiz Zahid Malik, Azfar Yaqoob, Mohammed Atiq and Mubashir Ali along with Zaman and Mohammed Ali Khan in the coaching panel. The contingent will leave on August 12.
“It’s the first time that such a hockey tournament is being held wherein only five players [and a goalkeeper] will participate,” Zaman told The Express Tribune.
He added that the training camp focused on the forwards and goalkeepers, since the event will be fast-paced and neither penalty corners nor penalty strokes would be given, thereby leaving little scope for defenders.
The matches will consist of three parts, 12 minutes each. There will be a two-minute break after each part. The significant change in this championship will be that a player can score goal from anywhere in the field as is done in football; there will be no restriction of the traditional ‘D’ area.
Pakistan have been placed in Pool B with Zambia, Germany, New Zealand and Mexico, while Pool A comprises South Africa, Bangladesh, Spain, Australia and Canada.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2014.
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