KARACHI: Former Pakistan skipper Waseem Ahmed says the present Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) top brass is sincere in its bid to uplift hockey in the country and is making efforts in the right direction.
"We (senior players) were never approached by the previous setups of PHF. But the present management approached us because they wanted to achieve some place in the world. We saw sincerity in their offer and decided to join the national team," Waseem told in an interview.
Waseem was among the four senior players who were recalled by the PHF for the Asia Cup. The others were Sohail Abbas, Salman Akbar and Rehan Butt. Pakistan reached the final of Asia Cup where they lost to South Korea 0-1 after a tough encounter.
Waseem added that Pakistan played well in the final and kept Korea under pressure, "but it was our bad luck that we conceded a goal in the dying moments of the match. It was a good experience overall. We gathered for the national team after such a long time and we enjoyed it. We easily adjusted ourselves with the juniors and we played as one unit. I'm confident we will continue to show more improvement," he added.
"We performed well in the tournament after such a long time because we had team spirit and team work. We made some good combinations. However, luck was not in our favour. We didn't avail the chances we managed to create in the final," he said.
He added that the attacking show by Pakistan kept the Koreans under pressure. He praised junior players and said that gelled well and played with a fighting spirit. "All the junior players played well particularly Haseem Khan and Mohammad Irfan," Waseem said.
Waseem appreciated PHF for hiring foreign physical trainer for the national team - Jos Geijsal - and said that he was instrumental in keeping the team fit during the tournament.