Team returning with Asian Cup title receives warm welcome

Pakistan U16 hockey team, who returned from a successful campaign in Singapore where they clinched U16 Hockey Asia Cup title, received warm welcome at Allama Iqbal Airport in Lahore on Tuesday.

“It was a new format and was not at all easy for the boys to perform in the new conditions,” manager and head coach Tahir Zaman told reporters at the airport.

“The boys had been working hard during the preparations for the event and during the tournament they performed impressively and therefore they deserved the title,” he said.

“The five aside is a new format and therefore it poses challenges to the young players. But our players clicked in the format and clinched title of the tournament. So all the credit goes to the players for their hard work and the coaches and other support staffs, which have helped these players polish their talent,” he said.

The former hockey player added these players, if get training and exposure, then they would find their place in the national squad in three to four years.

“If these players continue to get training and exposure then I think Pakistan will get once more world class players in its national team’s folds in three to four years,” he said.

Meanwhile, secretary Pakistan Hockey Federation PHF Asif Bajwa, who received the team at the airport along with some other officials, said that the team’s impressive showings in Singapore proves federation’s youth program to be a successful endeavour.

“The young team’s successful campaign in Singapore shows that the PHF’s youth program has started giving results,” Asif said.

The former hockey player added these players in years to come would help in lifting national team’s performance in the international arena after making their place in the team.