KARACHI: The Pakistan junior hockey team’s poor results at the recently concluded Sultan of Johor Cup has prompted harsh criticism from the game’s former players, with the Olympians lambasting the new Pakistan Hockey Federation management for the disappointing campaign in Malaysia.
The new-look team had taken part in an international event after a year without having played a single game even domestically. Consequently, they finish last at the Sultan of Johor Cup with five losses and a draw.
“The federation’s new brass was supposed to work with more dedication and come up with realistic plans, but nothing of the sort has been witnessed so far,” Olympian Naveed Alam told The Express Tribune. “Their performance at the tournament in Malaysia paints a bleak future for Pakistan hockey.”
Sultan of Johor Cup: Pakistan suffer 3-1 defeat against Malaysia
He added that the squad’s coaching team lacks professionalism. “Tahir [Zaman] is a good coach but the he cannot do everything on his own,” said Alam. “He has to build a good team of professionals who can help him in not only making a good plan but also a good pool of players.”
On the other side, chief coach Zaman said that while the result was disheartening, winning was not the aim of participating in the tournament. “The motive of going on an international event after 40 days of training was basically to identify the weak areas to work on before the Asia Cup, and we have achieved that,” said Zaman.
Explaining the main areas of concern, the coach added, “Our players need to work on their finishing and positioning inside the circle. Moreover, lack of communication in deep defence was also apparent during the matches.”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2015.
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