Islamabad, July 13 - With high ambitions and loud claims, Pakistani hockey team left for Britain where they would participate in the London Olympics scheduled to start July 27.
Pakistan's 18-member team that finished its 10-day training camp for the mega event at home this week will have another ten-day extensive training sessions at the Cannock Hockey Club in Birmingham and will play practice matches against the host club and Scotland teams, reports Xinhua.
Following the training sessions, the squad will move to the Olympics Village July 22 to play warm-up matches against Holland, Germany and Belgium before the 12-team hockey competitions start July 30.
Team manager and head coach Akhtar Rasool, talking to media, said: "The players are highly motivated for the Olympic Games. They have worked hard in training and are willing to deliver for their country."
"We are optimistic of a good show and results from our players in the competition," Rasool said before the team's departure from the airport in eastern city of Lahore.
Team captain Sohail Abbas said they would not underestimate any team and would give equal importance to every match.
"I am not looking at things beyond the first match. We want a good start and will play each match as a final as only this strategy can give us positive results," said Abbas.
Talking about team's preparations, head coach Rasool said players' fitness was the main focus during the training camp and players had also worked hard to improve penalty-corner conversion, defence and midfield.
The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), to improve the team's strength with senior and junior combination, retained penalty corner specialist Sohail Abbas as captain and also called back senior players Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Mohammad Imran and Waseem Ahmed.
The Pakistani squad, placed in Pool A, will take on world champions Australia, Britain, Spain, Argentina and South Africa. (IANS)
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