The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has appointed Olympian Shahid Ali Khan as new coach of the national team while Secretary PHF Asif Bajwa will also be the team Manager during the upcoming Asia Cup.
Addressing media after presiding PHF executive board meeting here at the National Hockey Stadium, PHF President Qasim Zia announced that that the PHF executive board has unanimously reached the decision to appoint Shahid Ali khan as the coach and hoped that he would be able to make a winning combination in the Asia Cup.
“We had announced Ayaz Mehmood as the team’s coach but he could not get permission from his employer PIA so we have to take the decision to appoint new coach to run the senior team camp,” Qasim added. He said that the selection committee had made a commendable job to observe the players in all matches of the recently concluded National Hockey championship and picked 30 capable players including four senior players Sohail Abbas, Rehan Butt, Wasim Ahmad and Salman Akbar but they have their contract with Dutch clubs to play league hockey there.
“We have asked the players to get permission from their clubs to join the camp of the national team at least three weeks prior to the Asia cup while requested the selection committee to add six players who attended the camp for Olympics team,” he opined. He maintained that the players had signed their contract earlier but now onward, the PHF has made clear to all the players that they would have to choose to play for the clubs or for the national team.
Talking about the central contract of the players, Qasim said that they had not reached a final decision at the moment but would observe their performances before announcing the contract. Commenting on the appointment of Asif Bajwa as team manger, Qasim said that he would also remain the secretary while look after the team management in addition to his duties and there was nothing wrong in it. “Asif was not ready but the executive board has asked him to take over as the manager,” Qasim observed.
To a question on the foreign consultant, Qasim said that Tazelaar has been busy with the academies in different cities and the PHF has succeeded first time in making a coaching Manual to provide uniform coaching across the country.
Meanwhile, newly appointed coach Shahid Ali Khan said that he had taken the responsibility as the challenge adding that they would try their best to win the Asia Cup and qualify to play the world cup. “I will not compromise on fitness and discipline among the players during national team’s probable camp,” he added.
“I believe that the senior players can make a difference in the team but their absence will make the team a bit week while we will go all out to make a strong combination,” Shahid concluded.