KARACHI: Former Pakistan hockey player and assistant coach of the national team Ahmed Alam says that he describes Champions Trophy as dangerous trophy and performing in it has never been easy for anyone.
"I have played in around eight Champions Trophy event and it has always been a highly testing event. I call it dangerous trophy because there are no underdogs and all the teams are world-class teams hungry for victories," Ahmed Alam said.
He said it would not be right to expect the green-shirts to secure top spot in the event. "Tournaments like Champions Trophy and Olympics are very tough and all the top teams feature in those events. So considering these facts, one should not expect some very extraordinary results from the national team," he said.
However, Ahmed clarified that 18 months separates the team from Olympics and during this period they could elevate their game and could be counted among the top contenders of the event.
"Certainly anything is possible at the end of the day. As per the federation's plan for the year 2011, we could manage to establish a world-class team for Olympics. We have very talented players and if they would be able to click during important matches of the event, then certainly we could pull worthwhile achievement," he said.
Ahmed feels the Champions Trophy and Olympics events would serve as a bridge to the federation to establish a formidable team for the Hockey World Cup in 2014.
"Both of the events (Champions Trophy and Olympics) are very important and certainly we would be going with full strengths in those events. However, I feel that these events are also important for us keeping in view the World Cup 2014. I believe that after preparing for Champions Trophy and then for Olympics 2012, by the time World Cup 2014 would come, we would have established a team, which could perform impressively in the World Cup," Ahmed explained.
Ahmed further said that Pakistan couldn't have clinched Asian Games gold and a subsequent berth in Olympics if there hadn't been any senior player around.
"Senior players played instrumental role in helping Pakistan win Asian Games hockey event title. The team might not have won the title if all the senior players had been dropped or rested," Ahmed said.
Ahmed said that the senior players should keep themselves fit and in form so that they could be considered for Champions Trophy and also for the Olympics.
"Every player should focus on their form and fitness with an aspiration to secure a place in the national team. If a player feels that he has enough talent to represent the national side than it becomes his duty to polish and groom his talent and stay fit and in form and patiently wait for the selection in the national squad," Ahmed stressed.
Ahmed further said that the selectors should not feel any shame for selecting a senior player, who would prove their fitness and form, even in the squad for Olympics.