LAHORE, Aug 18 (APP)- Pakistan development hockey squad will visit Oman
to play a five test hockey series next month instead of Pakistan junior team.
This was stated by coaches of the national junior team, former captains
and olymians , Muhammad Usman, Rehan Butt and Muhammad Saqlain at a news conference here on Friday at the national hockey stadium.
They said the decision to send the Pak development squad to Oman has been
taken after Oman hockey authorities informed the Pakistan Hockey Federation that Pak junior team will be pitted against their senior side in the test series commencing from September 5-19.
“Oman Hockey Federation is preparing its senior team for the Asia Cup
being played in October in Bangladesh and that is why PHF in consultation with us decided to send national development squad in order to impart training to those players who were not considered for the national senior and junior teams “, they said.
They said they will be imparting training to the development squad from
tomorrow, Saturday at the Johar hockey stadium and the training camp of the junior team has been terminated and players will resume training next month after the return of Pak development squad from Oman.
They said there was no use to send the Pakistan U19 junior team to Oman as
they players invited to attend the camp were very raw and the coaches were in the process of judging their individual talent by imparting them the basics of the game.
“It was not possible for us to groom a young side in two weeks time to
undertake the tour and it is better for our hockey that our development squad will be proceeding Oman to put up good fight and opposition to the Oman team which is in good shape as well its preparations for Asia Cup are concerned “,they asserted.
Usman, Rehan and Saqlain expressed their resolve and determination to
blend the Pakistan U19 into a balanced combination by imparting training in coming months by utilizing their experience and standing in the game.
They expressed their gratitude to the President, PHF, Brig retd Khalid
Sajjad Khokhar and Secretary Shahbaz Senior for reposing confidence on them by handing them over the national junior team.
“Our prime objective is to groom the national junior team for future
hockey events and we have been given the responsibility of the Pak development squad for the time being “,they said adding ” Our future of hockey is our junior team and we will work hard to create a pool of talented players and to broaden the base of the game “.
They said they are the former captains of Pakistan hockey and they have
joined hands to revive the sagging fortune of the Pakistan hockey which is at the lowest ebb.
To a question , Usman said development squad will be giving tough fight
to the Oman team during the tour but ruled out to undermine the Oman side.
Rehan said the tour benefit Pak hockey as its teams are bound to play
hockey abroad due to no international hockey activities at home. Saqlain said “once we were the world champions and now we are struggling at Asia level which speaks volume of our downfall of hockey”. We have to groom junior players to regain lost glory “,he added.