Paris Olympics Qualifiers: Coach Shahnaz upbeat ahead of Pakistan’s match against Great Britain

The match will be played in Muscat today

January 15, 2024
Pakistan hockey team. - PHF

KARACHI: Head coach Shahnaz Sheikh said on Sunday Pakistan would take on England in the first match of the Olympics qualifying round with full strength.

Talking to The News from Muscat he vowed that Pakistan hockey team will play with its all energy, full strength and experience obtained in the recent matches in Asian Games, Asian championship and junior world cup.

Pakistan are placed in pool A along with England, China and Malaysia. The Green Shirts will play their first match against England on Monday (today).

Currently, England are 4th ranked in the world and Pakistan 16th, according to the FIH’s latest world hockey ranking.

Shahnaz said that no doubt England’s ranking is “better than us but in today’s modern hockey, the performance of the day matters. Who plays better on the day of the match wins the match irrespective of its ranking". 

“We played rigorous hockey recently against formidable opponents and were successful to develop a balanced team which is striving to reach a respectable position,” he said. He added that weaknesses found in the last couple of months were addressed during the training camp.

Squad for Olympic qualifiers

Team: Abdullah Ishtiaq, Waqar, Arbaz Ahmed, Muhammad Abdullah, Sufiyan Khan, Ammad Shakeel Butt (captain), Abu Bakar Mahmood (vice-captain), Murtaza Yaqoob, Abdul Mannan, Aqeel Ahmed, Moeen Shakil, Salman Razaq, Abdul Hannan Shahid, Ghazanfar Ali, Abdul Rahman Jr., Zikriya Hayat, Rana Abdul Waheed Ashraf, Arshad Liaquat.

Management: Shahnaz Sheikh (head coach), Shakil Abbasi (coach), Dilawar Hussain (assistant coach), Amjad Ali (Goalkeeping Coach), Waqas Mahmood (Physiotherapist), Muhammad Imran Khan (Physical Trainer).

Syed Intikhab Ali is a reporter for The News