Pakistan senior hockey team’s head coach Roelant Oltmans has said that the performance of the Green-shirts cannot be improved overnight because there is a big gap between Pakistan and strong teams of the world.
He said, however, that the performance and ranking of Pakistan would be much better in near future. Oltmans said he was sure that Pakistan would rise again in the world of hockey because the direction it had taken was correct.
He said there were many factors to be considered. “Right now we have made up our minds and are aiming to play well in Asian Games in Indonesia in August and September,” he added. Oltmans said that he had joined Pakistan team 10 days ago and during that period strict physical fitness and game plans had been designed which every player in the camp had to follow.
He said the fitness level of the players was not up to the mark but now it was improving. He said they were aiming to take it to the highest level before the coming tough competitions. He said miracles should not be expected in the Commonwealth Games but the performance of the Green-shirts would be much better than in the recent international contests.
He said they had adopted methods and strategies which were in vogue in modern hockey. He said they were working to improve the penalty corner conversion ratio as well as defence against PCs. Both played crucial roles in the result of any match, he added.
He said they had designed specialised practice sessions for defenders and strikers and the shortcomings which he saw in Oman last month were being addressed. Oltmans said he believed in team work and not individuals. “Hockey is a team game in which everyone has to play his role,” he added.
He said there were talented players in Pakistan who only needed advanced training and maximum exposure at the international level. He said that Pakistan were in the Pool ‘B’ in Commonwealth Games along with Wales, India, England and Malaysia. England and India would be tough opponents, he said.
Oltmans said that he knew the intensity of the rivalry between India and Pakistan and so a comprehensive strategy would be adopted for that match. He was of the view that CW Games and Champions Trophy would be a great experience for the players in green before the Asian Games. He expressed the hope that they would be able to shape up the Green-shirts before the Asian Games.
Syed Intikhab Ali -The News