KARACHI: The training camp to finalise the 16-man squad for the FIH Hockey World League Semi-finals, which will also act as qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics, will commence from Thursday at the Naseer Bunda Hockey Stadium in Islamabad.
The camp, which was originally scheduled to start on June 1, includes 30 probables. Only half of them will be selected for the qualifiers scheduled to be held from June 20 to July 5 in Antwerp, Belgium.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has planned for the team to play 12 warm-up matches before the mega event to help the players acclimatise.
“The players would be shown which weak areas to rectify noted during the two tours — Australia and Korea — and will then be selected after trials,” said head coach Shahnaz Sheikh.
The PHF has also inducted goalkeeper Ali Haider in place of Talal Khalid and Altaf, while full-back Mubashir Ali has been excluded. Fareed Ahmed and forward Nawaz Asfaq have been incorporated in place of Shah Irshad and Rana Umair.
Meanwhile, assistant coach Danish Kaleem will assist Sheikh, Syed Abu Zar Umrao will act as the video analyst on the tour and Asad Abbas Shah will travel with the contingent as the team doctor.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2015.
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