Selection committee picks 51 juniors for training camp

Selection committee picks 51 juniors for training camp

KARACHI: The national selection committee led by Olympian Manzoor Junior has handed over a list of 51 probable players for juniors training camp to PHF, ‘The News’ learnt on Monday.

The list was compiled at the end of national junior championship. The selection committee was present in Lahore during the national championship, said a selector.

These boys would be part of preparation for Asia Cup 2020, Junior World Cup 2021, and other international assignments, he added. Sources said the 51 players included those five juniors who were part of the senior team that visited Germany and Holland recenlty. These five players are under 21 years of age and so can play Asia Cup 2020, the sources said.

The selection committee has picked five goalkeepers and four PC drag flickers who played at the position of full back. The remaining players are forwards, half backs, and full backs. The PHF has delayed the announcement of head coach, manager and assistant coaches for the training of the juniors.

PHF secretary Olympian Asif Bajwa had said that the junior team management would be announced during the national junior championship, but so far PHF has not done so. The sources said that PHF was considering different people for these positions. If the juniors played well in the Asia Cup and World Cup it would be a great success and would rekindle hopes of hockey’s revival in the country.

It is pertinent to mention here that the senior team is ranked 17th, the lowest ever in history. After the World Cup, many of the juniors are likely to graduate to the senior team. Selectors told this correspondent that they saw the juniors for 10 days and they could say that the juniors had vigour and passion to succeed at the international level.

Olympian Qamar Zia has advised PHF to appoint dedicated former players as manager and head coach with the juniors. There should be people who have good ideas, sharp brains and good understanding of modern-day hockey.

He said that team management played a major role in the success of any hockey team. Qamar said that Asia cup and World Cup were important for Pakistan. Thus, PHF should appoint the team management after deep consideration, he added. To qualify for the Junior World Cup 2021, the Green-shirts must reach the semi-finals of Asia Cup 2020. Pakistan missed the Junior world Cup in 2016.

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