Ijaz Chaudhary Interview Roelant Oltmans photo by M Arslan Hasnat

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has hired the services of two more foreign coaches for a short period on the recommendations of head coach Roelant Oltmans during the Champions Trophy.

Informed sources said that Pakistan players would have the third phase of their training in Holland around 15 days before the Champions Trophy starts—on June 23.

Oltmans had recommended that Dutch penalty corner specialist coach Braham Lomans and goalkeeping coach Denis Fender should be hired.

PHF secretary Shahbaz Ahmed confirmed the appointment of the two and said: “Asian Games are very important for us and Champions Trophy is a chance for us to finalise our preparation for that.

“Playing against the strongest teams of the world and taking advantage of the stay in Netherlands, we decided to appoint the two specialist coaches.

“These expenditures will be nothing if we win the Asian Games and directly qualify for the Olympics. Otherwise we would have to incur more expenditure to prepare for the qualifying round,” Shahbaz said.

“We are concerned about our goalkeeping and penalty corner specialists,” he added. Pakistan have only one reliable goalkeeper in Imran Butt, who has been called back to revive his international career after Pakistan suffered humiliating defeats against lowly teams.

Imran is, too, struggling to regain his old form. However, he played well in the Commonwealth Games in Australia last month. The PHF secretary admitted that PHF was facing shortage of funds. “But improving the performance of the players is important and we are trying our best to resolve these issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that due to financial crisis in PHF, the salaries of its staff have not been paid on time in the last couple of months. Shahbaz said it happened due to delay in release of funds by the government. But he mentioned that the salaries of lower-grade staffers were being paid and the remaining people would soon get their salaries.

Syed Intikhab -The News