Holland’s famous hockey coach Roelant Oltmans reached Pakistan and joined Pakistan team’s training camp in Karachi at Abdul Sattar Edhi stadium here on Thursday.
Oltmans started his work immediately, training the Green-shirts who have been in the camp since the last week of February.The training camp has been organised to prepare for the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April.
Oltmans would coach the team till 2020 Olympics.
In a chat with this scribe, greenshirts’ newly-appointed head coach said that the team was passing through a hard time but “they have some good players” who have potential and after getting hard training on advanced methods, would convert into a fighting team.
He said that he saw Pakistan playing in Oman, where the team struggled “but some players played well”.Oltmans rejected the impression that only goalkeepers were responsible for the decline of Pakistan.
He was of the view that goalkeepers were the last men. The strikers, the midfielders and the defenders must also raise their game, said the coach. Hockey is a team game and everyone has to contribute, he said.
He said that Imran Butt displayed good goalkeeping skills in Oman and stopped some good attacks. Oltmans said that Commonwealth Games in Australia in April and Champions Trophy in Holland in June were not the targets. The target is Asian Games in Indonesia in August and September, he added. The first two events would be part of the preparation for the Asian Games, Oltmans said.
He further said that communication would not be a problem for him as he has been visiting the Subcontinent for a long time and knows how to explain things to players. He made it clear that Pakistan would take some time to rise in world hockey.