Nishan-e-Haider tournament: ‘Pakistan’s hockey talent is outstanding’

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KARACHI: Pakistan Hockey Federation’s (PHF) initiative to bring foreign goalkeepers to the country has paid dividends as all 11 players felt safe and happy participating in the Nishan-e-Haider tournament.

The tournament, which commenced on October 4, features 11 teams — each named after the martyrs of the armed forces — with one foreign goalkeeper in their squad, while former hockey Olympians are serving as coaches.

Nicholas James Holman, an Australia goalie, while sharing his experience with The Express Tribune, said: “Coming here was and is an excitement. These guys came to Australia and showed some brilliant skills, so we wanted to come here and play in the conditions they practice in.”

Holman added, except the hot weather, everything was perfect. “It is really good here, just the weather is a bit hot, otherwise, the hockey talent is outstanding and they are really giving us a tough time,” he said.

Meanwhile, Argentine goalie Emiliano Bosso revealed that all foreign keepers were happy to meet the legends of hockey such as Shahbaz Ahmed Senior, Mansoor Ahmed and Sohail Abbas among others. “We have always read about them and seen them on TV, it was good to meet the players who were once part of the world’s top team,” he said.

He said Pakistan’s title-rich hockey history pulled him into the tour. “Pakistan has won so many medals and titles in hockey that we had a wish to visit this country, meet all these people and learn from them, so this is a great opportunity for us to come here and gain experience.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan great Rehan Butt explained the purpose of the tournament. “Here in this tournament around 150 players are playing. They were selected from around Pakistan courtesy recent trials. If we even get four good players out of this tournament for the national team, then our national team will become much stronger.”

The post Nishan-e-Haider tournament: ‘Pakistan’s hockey talent is outstanding’ appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Source: Tribune News | Nishan-e-Haider tournament: ‘Pakistan’s hockey talent is outstanding’

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