Karachi: With just a little over two months
left for the Commonwealth Games in India, the Pakistan Hockey
Federation has decided to send the team on a six-week training
camp to the Netherlands.
Sources said the decision was taken on the advice of the
national team`s new coach Michel Van Den, who belongs to the
Netherlands and coached the Dutch team in the World Cup held
earlier this year in India.
"The reason for holding the camp in Holland is that they
are more training facilities and easy access to specialized
coaching staff. Plus our players will regularly play practice
games against selected teams," one source in the PHF said.
The appointment of Van Den has drawn criticism from some
Olympians who believe the PHF is wasting funds on a experiment
that has been tried before and not produced long lasting
Pakistan in the past has employed Dutch coaches, Hans
Jorritsma and Rolent Oltmans.
They won the Champions Trophy and World Cup in 1994 when
Jorritsma was coach but he left after developing differences
with the federation during the year.
The Pakistan team has just finished a long training tour
of Europe where they played tests against France, Spain and
Netherlands and the source said this was all being done to
ensure that Pakistan went to India well-prepared.
"The 12th position we finished in the World Cup on Indian
soil still haunts all of us and we want to ensure this time we
return from India with good results," he said.
The PHF is also trying to launch its own super league in
Dubai in collaboration with the Dubai sports city in a bid to
raise the profile of the sport.
PHF secretary Asif Bajwa has visited Dubai and held talks
with the concerned officials for the organization of the
league sometime in December.
"The concept is to invite players from other teams
including India, South Korea, Malaysia, Australia and European
countries to take part in the super league. There is a belief
that hockey can be a successful financial venture in the
emirates with a global television audience," one source told
"The PHF and Dubai sports city believe there is lot of
interest for hockey in the UAE specially if Pakistani and
Indian players feature in the super league with foreigners,"
the source added.