Fitness of players, ball control is the key: Akhtar Rasool - Pakistan Today

Fitness of players, ball control is the key: Akhtar Rasool

The second phase of the camp training of the senior hockey team started here at the National Hockey Stadium on Monday under the supervision of newly-appointed head coach Olympian Akhtar Rasool.
With Kh Junaid and Shahid Ali being the assistant coaches, the team’s immediate task is to train for tri-nation hockey series scheduled for next month at home while the next assignment is the Azlan Shah Cup and then the main target, the London Olympics.
Apart from short-corner specialist Sohail Abbas, all the probables have joned the camp that began with fitness drill on Monday morning and the evening session carried proper hockey drills.
Talking to this scribe, Akhtar Rasool said that team has assembled here at the National Stadium to first prepare for the tri-nation hockey being hosted by the Pakistan Hockey Federation.
The PHF has planned to host India and Malaysia in a tri-nation hockey tournament beginning from April 9 here at the National Hockey Stadium. And then comes the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.
“The foremost task is to get the players into shape before the three-nation tournament planned by the PHF,” said Akhtar. After the home series the team will take part in the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.
“Right now we have these two tournaments in hand to prepare for and then come the London Olympics. The team is to leave for London by July 12, so we have very little time left before we start our campaign for the Olympics glory.
“Every moment and every minute of training is very important for us. We have started off with a six hours straining sessions – three hours in the morning and the same duration of session in the evening,” said Akhtar.
‘During the time, we have, we would try our best to have the best out of the players and made the players physical fit enough that they could deliver in all the sessions of the match. There use to be time when the match approaches its closing time the players get lethargic so keeping that in mind they would be prepared to such a level that they would gave the same level of stamina and fitness the final hooter is blown,” he maintained.
“What we would be doing during the camp is that let the players have full control of the ball, dribbling, controlled passing, movement from one position to the other with complete control on the ball.
“Above all the fitness of the players to deliver throughout the match would be of paramount importance during their training. They should be fit till the last minute of the match like the first stretch of the game,” said Akhtar.
He further added that he had a 43-year of experience and he would try to pass it on to these players. “With a sincere effort I would give what I have learnt during my hockey life ad leave it all to Allah Almighty.”

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