Danish Kaleem talking to Media

Olympian Danish Kaleem, the head coach of Pakistan junior hockey team, has said that 40-45 players would be shortlisted after two weeks of training, which began this week at National hockey stadium in Lahore.

The players are being trained for Junior Asia Cup, which is scheduled in June in Bangladesh.

Danish told that the national selection committee wanted to give proper chances to all boys who played well in the national junior championship. “The players will be given home work so that they remain fit and if a player gets injured we have replacements ready,” he said. “We have plans to prepare two or three players for each position,” Danish added.

He said that training sessions had been started with full motivation. “There are three sessions in a day: physical training in the morning, individual training in the middle session which begins at 11-30 am,” he added.

In the evening session field hockey skills and match temperament are developed, the former Olympian said.

Danish said that as a rigorous training schedule was being followed, the boys were being provided the best nutrition.

“One good thing is that we have seven junior players who were with the national senior team in the Olympic qualifying matches against the Netherlands recently,” the head coach said.

He stressed that before Asia Cup 2020, the juniors needed 15-20 matches against other nations to learn how to handle match pressure. “We have requested PHF to arrange test matches series with strong junior teams,” he said. “In modern-day hockey rules have been changed and we have focused in the training on the methods of training which have been adopted by other countries. But we are also giving importance to individual skills of the players according to our traditional hockey,” said Danish.

Penalty corner specialists are being trained by former captain Muhammad Imran. The goalkeepers are being trained by former goalkeeper Nasir Ali.

Syed Intikhab Ali – The News