KARACHI: Pakistan team head coach Sigfried Aikman said coaching a new bunch of players for the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup is a bit challenging.
11 of the main Pakistan team players refused to participate in Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Cup and went to play professional leagues instead.
Following the players’ decision, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) conducted trials and 11 new players were selected for the national team.
“These players are raw talent. It will be a challenge to coach them and prepare them for the event,” said the team’s head coach Aikman.
“Unfortunately, our 11 main players left the team and decided to play in professional leagues. Their presence would have made the situation a bit different as we all made good understanding together,” Aikman shared.
The Dutch coach was satisfied with the team’s performance in Commonwealth Games 2022 and he is even upbeat for a tough competition without main players in the upcoming event.
“We did well in Commonwealth Games. We played against some top-ranking teams and gave them tough time,” he recalled. “Had those main players remained here, we could have done better planning and practice for the event,” he said.
“But, the available players are talented. Being their coach, my duty is to groom them and make them ready for the event. It is a challenge but I will try my best to make these youngsters capable of competing against some top-quality teams,” he concluded.