Players to have chance of being shortlisted

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Peshawar—President Pakistan Hockey Federation Brig. (Retd) Khalid Sajjad Kokkar Saturday said that he is very much keen to wide-up pool of selection for the national team in order to pick best 18 players out of the country.
Talking to media persons during his visit to Lala Ayub Hockey Stadium, Peshawar to monitor the ongoing national hockey trials, he said we want to provide due opportunity to every hockey players before short-listing best available lot for the forthcoming 25th Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament to be played from April 7-17, 2016 in Malaysia.
He said with the grace of Almighty Allah Pakistan won the gold medal in the 12th South Asian Games held in India and the team secured league round victory as well as victory in the final against host India.
He disclosed that before holding the trials in Peshawar, they have similar trials in Karachi where players from Balochistan and other far flung areas of Sindh turned up, followed the trials at National Hockey Stadium Lahore with the aim to see and short-list players from across Punjab.
We are in the third phase of trials in Peshawar where we have given open invitation to all and players from Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Islamabad and all those districts of Punjab left behind from the trials, to take part,” he added.
He said, we did not believe in set criteria of limiting team selection to a specific area rather we want to select team from whole of Pakistan. The opportunities are for the youth playing hockey, he added.
The selection committee, he said, comprising Olympian Waseem Feroz, Olympian Farhat Khan, Olympian Khawjah Junaid, Olympian Saeed Khan, Olympian Rasheed Junior and Olympian Qasim Khan have witnessed the players performance during the trials.
He said, more than 120 players took part in the trials held in 12 different sessions and hopefully the selection committee would short-listed best available players to be kept in the camp in Islamabad before selecting the final 18 players for the forthcoming Azlan Shah Hockey Cup.
He said team victory in the 12th South Asian Games would keep an over lasting impact over hockey players as we will see beyond that as we have more big targets in the mind like joining the Olympics club again.
Accompanied by hockey artisan Olympian Shahbaz Ahmad Senior, Olympians Musaddiq Hussain, Khalid Bashir, Chairman KP Hockey Association and VP PHF Muhammad Saeed Khan, Secretary KP Syed Zahir Shah, World Panel Hockey Umpire Faiz Muhammad Faizi, he said that we have to work hard to achieve out set goal. Earlier, soon after arriving President PHF met with all the players took part in the trials.—APP