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Goalkeepers maintaining fitness, but need match practice: Nasir

Sports

July 5, 2020

KARACHI: Gaolkeeping coach Olympian Nasir Ahmed has said goalkeepers of both senior and junior teams are committed to maintaining their physical fitness and form through home-based training programme provided to them by PHF.

Talking to ‘The News’ on Thursday, Nasir, a veteran of 126 international matches, said the national selection committee had selected the most talented bunch of goalkeepers in the country based on their domestic hockey performances. “They are passionately following the programme and are keenly waiting for regular camp to begin,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan hockey team faced defeats on a number of occasions in international matches because of the poor performance of defenders and goalkeepers after taking lead.

Nasir, who represented Pakistan once at Olympic Games, twice at World Cup and four times at Champions Trophy, said that a proper physical training schedule has been given to the eight goalkeepers. Because of this training programme, the goalkeepers would not need to start their training from zero level despite being away from regular hockey for three months, he said.

He said that the training was being monitored on a daily basis through video-sharing technology and shortcomings were being addressed.

Nasir said that there was no alternative to proper training and match practice, but those things were impossible to be managed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Their physical training is wonderful and as far as their hockey skills are concerned, the goalkeepers are doing the drills wearing their complete kit and using a tennis ball with the help of another player,” the goalkeeping coach said.

“This exercise has been divided into two sessions, one for upper portion and the other for lower portion of the wall. Both are conducted for 30 to 40 minutes each,” he said.

The goalkeepers do their exercises and drills in early morning and evening while maintaining physical distance and taking all precautions against coronavirus.

Nasir said that Amjad, Muneeb, Waqar and Abdullah are seniors and the juniors are Abdullah, Waqar, Owais, and Ahmed.

“The juniors have been away from international matches for a couple of years. They lack experience of international hockey, so we will have to work hard to help them withstand the pressure of international matches,” he added.

Nasir said the team management would focus more on the improvement of hockey skills and playing matches whenever the regular training camps started because physical training of the players is up to the mark.