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Sports

AZS
Alam Zeb Safi
October 13, 2017

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‘Substantial funding key to promoting volleyball in Pakistan’

‘Substantial funding key to promoting volleyball in Pakistan’

PESHAWAR: Pakistan’s Iranian volleyball coach Hamid Movahedi on Thursday said that Pakistan has immense talent but there is a need for huge investment which is the only way to promote the sport in the country.

“Pakistan has a huge population and I am now convinced that there is great talent here. But it needs proper grooming and polishing. It is impossible without putting in huge money into the sport,” Hamid told ‘The News’ in an interview here on Thursday.

Hamid, a level-3 coach living in Istanbul, has been training Pakistan youth and junior sides in a joint camp here at the PSB Coaching Centre located inside Qayyum Sports Complex since last month.

The teams are being prepared for the next year’s Asian Youth and Asian Junior Championships which will also serve as qualifiers for the respective world championships. Each side carries 16 players who have been picked following country-wide trials.

Hamid is very impressed with the potential of the young lot.“They are not only talented but are also fast learners of the game. When they came to the camp for the very first time they were not too good but now they have improved a lot and I am optimistic that they will further improve and learn modern volleyball on which I am currently focusing,” Hamid said.

“If the same lot is given attention for the next three years, it could become a strong and competitive unit which will help Pakistan in future international assignments,” he added.He said about nine to ten of these players can play for Pakistan at the highest level in future. He also highlighted the importance of international exposure to the team.

“It is not possible to form a fighting lot without giving exposure to the brigade. We had planned a tour to Iran ahead of the Islamic Games but lack of resources denied us the opportunity. Had we proceeded to Iran the team would have learnt more and gained good shape before the vital assignment,” he pointed out.

He said in his current youth side there is a 14-year-old setter who has tremendous talent and he could turn out to be a great future asset for the country.He especially praised Bannu for the rich talent the semi-tribal belt possesses. “I am really impressed with the talent of Bannu. It has good players with good heights,” Hamid conceded.

About preparations for the next year’s Asian Games, the Iranian said he was mulling over an option to change the team by inducting young blood in it.“We will try to make more changes in the senior side. We will also try to pick some under-23 players through trials and put them in the Asian Games’ side,” he said.

Pakistan hired the services of Hamid in early April for six months. His contract has been extended because of his impressive performance.Although under his supervision Pakistan did not spring any major surprise in Islamic Games, World Championship qualifiers and Asian Championships, it was clearly seen that his side showed improvement as it gave tough time to strong sides like Turkey.

Highlighting the importance of professional league, Hamid said that Pakistan direly needs initiation of such a league. “There is a great need for professional league in order to produce solid stock for future,” Hamid added.

He was happy with the camp in Peshawar. “I am really happy here. The players are also getting good and healthy food,” he said.Hamid has been given a room at the PSB Coaching Centre Hostel.The camp will continue till next July. There is no departmental player in the camp.

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