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Time to please annoyed hockey lovers: Shahnaz Sheikh

October 19, 2011

Recalling Sohail Abbas was a good step by the PHF: Shahnaz Sheikh. -File photo

ISLAMABAD: Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh said on Tuesday that the performance of the team for the 2012 London Olympics will be judged by the tour of Australia beginning October 20 to November 4.

Talking to APP, Sheikh said that recalling Sohail Abbas was a good step taken by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) as earlier the Federation made a blunder by not inducting him in the Asian Champions Trophy which was held in China where Pakistan ended up losing in the final against India.

“This tournament is very important for Pakistan as for the revival of hockey in the country and to pull back the annoyed hockey lovers to the stadium, which we have lost due to our inconsistency in performance,” he said.

Sheikh said that the future of Pakistan hockey and its players lie in this particular mega event in which top teams of the world are participating and will be flexing their muscles for top slot.

“We (Olympians) for the last three years have been advising time and again to the PHF to develop a strategy that we had made, but the PHF up until now hasn't listened to us,” he said.

Sheikh said the strategy was to implement training camps (preferably 6 to 8 weeks).

“Pattern of training in the camp should be based on competitive, pressure, individual skill and drill training followed by team training for better match temperament. All this training involves both attacking and defense playing approach to sustain pressure.”

He opined that before the selection of the team, a series of matches in different cities should be organized for better composition.

“The real test of the coach's training will be seen in the Champions Trophy in New Zealand, which is very important for Pakistan. At present, Pakistan’s world ranking is 8th and fresh ranking of the teams would be announced after this tournament.”

“Secondly one important point which should be kept in mind is that since eight teams divided into two pools are participating and that means the event has become tougher.

“Therefore to secure 6 or 7 points would definitely bring Pakistan among the top 1 to 4 which is a good result for the Olympic Games,” he concluded.