Tuesday January 31, 2023

Aikman wants matches before Asian Games

December 09, 2022

KARACHI: Pakistan hockey team head coach Siegfried Aikman has said that he is satisfied with the performance of the players but not with the results of the matches.

After returning home from South Africa, where Pakistan competed in the Nations Cup, while talking to 'The News' on Thursday, Aikman said that Pakistan team had reached South Africa just two days before the event, due to which the boys could not acclimatise properly. “Besides, they were much less experienced than the rivals,” he said.

“It is not an excuse but a reality. South African team had 10 Olympian players, Japan 10-12 Olympian players and other teams also had the services of many experienced players,” Aikman said.

He said that Greenshirts are not a blend of young and experienced players but all players were young except captain Umer Bhutta. They are passing through a developing period but are learning fast,” he said.

The head coach admitted that poor performance of PC drag flickers, defenders and goalkeepers was the reason behind the defeats. “But they will learn and improve as they play regularly rigorous and advanced hockey and get experience,” he said.

He said that Greenshirts failed to take advantage of goal-scoring opportunities.

He said that due to attacking game of forwards and creating good moves, Pakistan team got 22 penalty corners in five matches but scored only two goals. “That was our weakness – poor finishing. But the positive thing is that we are playing attacking game and the players have the ability to create opportunities of scoring goals,” Aikman said.

He said that when players acclimatised to the conditions, they played wonderfully against France who are 11th ranked in the world. Canada are ranked 14th. Aikman further explained that though the boys were inexperienced they did not come under pressure against any team.

He said that maximum number of international hockey matches against strong teams was the need of hour for Pakistan hockey team before the Asian Games 2023 so that players could get experience of present days advance hockey.