Pak hockey to dump experience for youth after Asian Games with eye on Olympics

October 27th, 2010 - 2:24 pm ICT by ANI  

Karachi, Oct 27 (ANI): Pakistan is all set to rebuild its national hockey team after the Asian Games due next month, regardless of how the players perform in the quadrennial spectacle to be held at Guangzhou in China.

“We will begin a comprehensive rebuilding process immediately after the Asian Games,” The News quoted Pakistan’s chief selector Hanif Khan as saying.

“We will have 18 months to prepare our team for the Olympics and will want to just persist with young players,” he added.

The idea is to raise a young and strong team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, which he said was Pakistan’s long-term target.

Hanif disclosed that players like Pakistan captain Zeeshan Ashraf and former skippers Rehan Butt, Waseem Ahmed, Shakeel Abbasi and Salman Akber would have to go even if Pakistan win the Asian Games title.

“Regardless of how the team performs in the Asian Games, we will rebuild it for the 2012 Olympic Games. The senior players, who are already 30 or older than that, will be replaced by youngsters,” he maintained.

Pakistan are hoping to clinch the gold in Guangzhou not just because they want to regain the Asian Games crown, but also because it will give them a direct spot for the London Olympics.

“We have to win the Asian Games at all costs,” said Hanif, a former Olympian, adding, “It will help us qualify for the Olympics and give us 18 months to prepare our boys for the London Games.” (ANI)

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