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December 30, 2019

PHF planning: Europe tour for juniors before Asia Cup 2020


December 30, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) secretary Olympian Asif Bajwa has said that the PHF has contacted four European countries for test series in April and May next year.

He told ‘The News’ on Sunday that France, Belgium, Germany and Holland are situated close to each other and travelling among them is easy. “Therefore, we are trying to arrange test series with their junior teams. We will contact the hockey federations of these countries in a couple of days for this purpose and hope that we will arrange test series with them,” he said.

The PHF secretary further said that they wanted to host a juniors series during January or February. “Besides, the juniors will play a series against the seniors when they will be preparing for Azlan Shah tournament,” he added.

Bajwa also said that domestic hockey calendar 2021 has been prepared and it would be announced soon. He also said that PHF is keen to organise the Pakistan Hockey League ( PHL) in 2021.

He further said that Pakistan senior team would participate in Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in Malaysia in March. The training camp of the seniors would be held in February, he said.

The juniors training camp would also be in full swing at that time and they would play against each other which would benefit both, especially the juniors.

The junior team management would be announced in a couple of days and the training camp of more than 50 players would be held in Lahore, the PHF secretary said.

He said PHF has focused its efforts on the promotion of junior hockey across the country and the preparation of the junior team for Asia Cup 2020 and World Cup 2021.

He said the progress of the senior team was dependent on talented players coming from the junior level. “If the juniors’ progress is slow, we won’t be able to strengthen the senior team for big events such as World Cup and Olympics,” he said. “Seven players who were part of the senior team for Olympics qualifiers in Holland are still under 21 and able to participate in Junior Asia Cup, which is a good sign,” Bajwa said.

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