BIRMINGHAM: Head coach Siegfried Aikman is optimistic that the Pakistan team will make the nation proud by displaying standout performance in the Commonwealth Games.
Talking to the media here on Friday, he said that Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) was trying to facilitate the players in every possible way.
“The atmosphere here is quite encouraging and stimulating. It is helping our team to grow. Hopefully, the boys will deliver and make the nation proud.”
According to Aikman Pakistan hockey team wanted to perform in the tournament and was determined to get the highest possible results.
“The team is very well focused. The players know what to do and they are really eager to perform,” he added.
Pakistan is placed in group A alongside Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and South Africa. They will start their campaign on Saturday (July 30) against South Africa.
They will take on New Zealand on July 31 in their second match. Then, they will face Scotland on August 3. In their last group match on August 4, they will face six-time Commonwealth Games hockey champions Australia. The top two teams will move to the semifinals, taking place on August 6. The final will be held on August 8, the last day of the multi-sports event.
Hockey has been played at the Commonwealth Games since 1998 and in that first year, it was Australia who dominated, winning gold in both the men’s and women’s competitions. Malaysia men and England women took silver, while England men and New Zealand women won the bronze medals.
The Commonwealth Games has a rich sporting tradition that goes back to 1930. In its earliest iteration, the coveted event featured 11 nations and 400 athletes.
Now, in its 22nd edition, over 5000 athletes from 72 nations and territories will be participating in the English city of Birmingham in the event known as the Friendly Games.