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January 20, 2020

48 junior players shortlisted for next phase of training camp

Sports

January 20, 2020

KARACHI: The Pakistan junior hockey team management has shortlisted 48 players for the next phase of training camp, ‘The News’ learnt on Sunday.

A dozen junior players, who will not be part of the next phase, have already been conveyed the reason for their omission by the management as some of them are not old enough, while some need to improve their game.

The head coach of national junior team Danish Kaleem said, while talking to ‘The News’ on Sunday, that some of the boys need to work really hard if they are to represent the country in junior events, adding that by the end of the ongoing training camp, seven or eight more players may also be omitted.

“The players omitted have been given homework to help improve their fitness and skills,” he said. Danish said that the first phase of the training camp will conclude on January 27 and after a two-week break, the players will rejoin the camp in February.

“We are focusing more on the fitness of these youngsters in the training camp as most of them already have a lot of talent in them but lack the required physical shape,” Danish said. “But they are improving fast and working hard in three sessions per day. We are conducting individual training sessions side-by-side with match practice,” he said.

He informed that the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) is trying to arrange junior team’s participation in the five-nation tournament to be held in Oman during February.

“With five months left in the Junior Asia Cup 2020, we are training the boys to improve their fitness and basics in time. The penalty corner drills and goalkeepers’ training is also underway with assistant coaches Mohammad Imran and former goalkeeper Nasir Ali working with our youngsters,” he said.

Danish added that the junior side needs international matches to gauge their strength and find out their weaknesses. “The team management has already requested the PHF to arrange at least 15 to 20 matches for the junior team ahead of the Junior Asia Cup 2020,” he said.

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