Pak hockey coach says team “not in position to clinch hockey gold in Delhi Games”

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

LAHORE - Pakistan hockey coach Michel van den Heuvel has said that he cannot predict a gold medal for his team, as he expects tough competition in the offing in the upcoming Commonwealth Games starting in New Delhi from October 3.

“We are not in a position to win the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games since the competition is tough. However, we’ll try our best to deliver in the forthcoming Asian Games (to be held in China in November),” the Dawn quoted Michel, as saying to reporters at the National Hockey Stadium, where the 16-member Pakistan team was finalised on Tuesday after the last session of the training camp ended.

“We are to face Scotland in the first match, in which we will try to take a fine start by earning a good win against them,” he said, adding, “With Australia, world’s number one team, along with hosts India and Malaysia also in our pool, makes it a tough contest.”

Michel, who joined the Pakistani hockey team some four months ago following Pakistan’s disastrous performance in the last World Cup in New Delhi earlier this year, stated, “Pakistan do not deserve that poor 12th spot (which they achieved in the last World Cup), as they should be among the best outfits of the world.”

“Our entire planning is also focused on improving Pakistan’s world ranking,” he added.

Michel also suggested that Pakistan should play more international tournaments, considering this to be the best way to make rapid improvement at the global level.

Currently, the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) desperately wants its team to secure victory in a big tournament, like the Delhi Commonwealth Games, which is the lone event before the national team leaves for the Asian Games to be held in China in November. (ANI)

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