The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is all set to rope in an Australian trainer to improve national players conditioning, agility and speed, PHF president retired Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar said on Thursday.
“Currently, we are in talks with three to four trainers from Australia. Hopefully, within the next few days we’ll reach on an agreement with one of them and bring him to Pakistan,” Khokhar told APP on Thursday.
Pakistan had world-class coaches but over the years the game of hockey had changed a lot, the PHF president said.
“I don’t have an iota of doubt about the capabilities of our coaches. They’ve full knowledge of the game and fully abreast with the modern coaching techniques. But along with coaching, you can’t ignore the physical aspect of hockey training programme. That is why we’ve decided to hire a trainer, who will impart training to optimise athletic abilities of our players,” he said.
Khokhar said it had been observed that the fitness level of Pakistan players was not at par with that of players of world’s best outfits.
“Our players have the skills. The coaches are working with them to further improve their techniques but they are lagging behind at the physical fitness front,” he lamented.
“Our ultimate goal is to take our team to victory stand once again and regain our glory in the national game. Of course, that will not be possible unless our players achieve the highest level of potential while remaining injury-free and healthy,” he insisted.
Initially, he said, the PHF would hire the services of the trainer till January 2021. However, the contract would be extended if there was marked improvement in the players’ fitness level.
“We’ll hold camps for our senior as well as junior players as soon as the [Australian] trainer arrives. This will also enable us to prepare a reasonable number of back-up players at both levels.”
He said the PHF was also considering arranging coaching courses for erstwhile players in other countries. They were really great athletes during their playing days. We wish the world should also know them as great coaches.
The PHF president said the federation was also in talks with other hockey-playing nations to send their teams to Pakistan for some bilateral and triangle series to give maximum exposure to national players.
“This will also help revitalise our young generations interest in hockey,” the PHF chief added.