Bahawalpur – Pakistan, Apr 26, 2014: More than 180 players including national team captain Mohammed Imran and Olympian Akhtar Ali appeared for the two-day Open Trials conducted by the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) at the Mutiullah Hockey Stadium here on Friday.
According to the press release by the secretary PHF. The PHF National Selection Committee comprising Olympian Islahuddin Siddiqui (Chairman), Olympian Ayaz Mahmood, Olympian Khalid Bashir, Olympian Musaddiq Hussain and Olympian Arshad Ali Chawdhry, (Members) observed the trials. Manager and Chief Coach of Pakistan Senior team Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh also observed the trials. Olympian Akhlaq Ahmed and Habibu-ur-Rehman along with Tournament Director of the 9th Nishan-e-Haider Hockey Tournament, International Mian Zahid Iqbal coordinated for the smooth holding of the trials.
On the first day the selectors watched four pool matches of the ongoing Nishan-e-Haider Tournament in the city and on the second day they organized four trial matches comprising of aspirants coming from Multan, Khanewal, Vehari, Bahawalnagr and Rahim Yar Khan and closely observed players’ physical fitness, urge and interest in the trial matches. “Physical fitness is our priority.
While we are also observing the players interest and involvement in the trial matches as well”, Chief Selector Islahuddin told media after the trials. He said the objective of these trials were to provide equal opportunity to the upcoming talent who were ignored at the lower level amid various reasons.
“The PHF have provided equal opportunity to the deserving players to prove their talent and through strict Merit in their selection we want to add a new chapter in the history of Pakistan hockey”, Islah remarked.
The chief selector said that Pakistan’s national game was passing through a difficult phase and in the best interest of the nation, in general and hockey, in particular, he and his team accepted the challenge.
Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh said the PHF have started serious efforts to spot fresh talent and holding of nation-wide Open Trials were a vivid example of Federation’s resolve to put our national game on the right track. “Open trials are tonic to revive the game of hockey in Pakistan.
I hope that we will be able to make a pool of the players which would increase bench strength of the senior and junior teams in two to three years”, he opined. Shahnaz said it was heartening that more than 90 players appeared for trials in Quetta which was a good omen for the national game. He opined that if the selected newcomers continued their hard work for at least three years they would the future stars.
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