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A physical trainer from Australia will be appointed for Pakistan team’s training camp in Abbottabad from May 1. Daniel Barry would join the training camp in Abbottabad, sources said. The second phase of the national team’s training will be held in Karachi from May 17 or 18.
The Green-shirts are expected to depart for Holland to participate in the Champions Trophy three weeks before the event to acclimatize with the weather conditions. The team will also play three or four practice matches before the Champions Trophy.
The Abbottabad training camp is aimed at raising the fitness level of the players to match with that of strong teams of the hockey world.Pakistan’s head coach Roelant Oltmans, who is nowadays on leave, will reach Pakistan by the end of this month to join the training camp.
Pakistan will play the first match against arch-rivals India. The other teams in the event are Holland, Australia, Argentina and Belgium.The team will be selected on the basis of the performances in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games and keeping in mind the requirements of Asian Games, and World Cup.
It was learnt that the selection was looking for a second goalkeeper to save Imran Butt from work overload and injuries. Pakistan manager Olympian Hasan Sardar has said that Champions Trophy was the last chance to finalize the squad and remove all weaknesses before the Asian Games, which are scheduled in August and September in Indonesia.
“Our main target is the Asian Games because through that event we can establish our standing in Asian hockey and get direct qualification for the Olympics 2020,” he said. “We need to strengthen our forward line, improve goal scoring, find another skillful goalkeeper, and improve the ratio of goal scoring on penalty corners.
“Playing against Olympic champions Argentina, world champions Australia and Holland and Belgium in Champions Trophy, Pakistan team will learn a lot, which will help us when we play against Asian teams in Asian Games,” Sardar said.