No compromise to be made on fitness: Khawaja Junaid

ISLAMABAD, Aug 15 (APP):Pakistan hockey team’s head coach Khawaja Junaid says no compromise would be made on fitness and players need to go through the evaluation and assessment process to prove their mettle.

Junaid said the grey areas need to be identified to uplift the game. “If this goes on, than the day is not far when lower ranked teams would pass us in the rankings,” he said and added currently Pakistan stands at World Ranking 17.

Junaid said we need to improve the game scientifically with data based analysis of players being done. “Time is less and we must hunt for those players who are mentally, physically and technically fit for the game of hockey,” he told APP.

He said we would get about a three-week time to prepare for the Olympic Qualifying round and in this short period we need to make players go through the evaluation and assessment process in order to pick the best possible team for the round.

“Nowadays hockey has become very fast therefore it is better for players to adopt the modern day hockey as soon as possible,” he said.

He said there would be no compromise on fitness and with the help of video analysis along with physical trainers and psychologists we would eliminate the players’ flaws in the game.
Junaid said he would take along former Olympians to train national players for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers.

Junaid said Pakistan had produced several hockey greats who in their playing days were unmatchable in different fields of the game. “It is the right time to avail their services to regain the lost status of the national game,” he said and added to take along former Olympians to train national players for the Olympics qualifiers.

Junaid, who had won a bronze medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics at Barcelona, said the utilization of penalty corners in the game are the backbone of any team’s success. “The PHF is working on to call former penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas in the player’s training camp to strengthen the boys with his experience in the field,” he said and added other former greats including Muhammad Imran and Ahmed Alam would also be called in to share their expertise with the players.

Junaid said we have a big name like Shahid Ali Khan in the field of goalkeeping and we would also be taking his assistance to train goalkeepers according to the modern hockey. “Though the road to Olympics is tough, but we would give our best shot in the qualifiers to book a place in the mega event,” he said.

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