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Hockey World Cup Reminiscences: Tahir Zaman remembers overcoming father’s demise to assist Pakistan carry trophy in 1994

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Hockey World Cup Memories: Tahir Zaman remembers overcoming father's demise to help Pakistan lift trophy in 1994


Tahir Zaman was a part of the 1994 World Cup-winning Pakistan staff. A former captain and nationwide coach, Zaman is at present the top coach of Oman hockey staff. He spoke to Shantanu Srivastava.

File picture of Tahir Zaman

Successful the 1994 World Cup for Pakistan was a particular achievement in my profession. I nonetheless bear in mind the feedback and jibes from sure hockey consultants in Pakistan. Whereas leaving for the World Cup, we learn in newspapers that we weren’t adequate to win a teacup, neglect World Cup. These feedback triggered us. we have been decided to show our detractors fallacious.

Actually, we have been not likely a world-beating facet once we landed in Sydney, however as we stored successful, the momentum developed. After we beat Argentina and Spain in our first two matches, we began believing. My father handed away earlier than our first match, and I used to be given the provide to go residence. However I remembered my father’s phrases once I was leaving for the World Cup. He stated, “You’ve got been successful very small tournaments. It could be very good in the event you return as a World Cup winner.” These phrases stayed with me. They stored ringing in my ears, and I made a decision that I will not return with out successful the World Cup. In order that occasion has a really, very particular place in my coronary heart. By the grace of God, we received and I used to be glad to contribute in direction of the staff’s success.

Our supervisor, Rashid Jr, was like an elder brother to us, and he helped the staff gel very well. We had a coach from Holland, and he performed an enormous function in guaranteeing we performed disciplined hockey. Talent-wise, we have been already there. As soon as the momentum was on our facet, we actually have been robust to beat.

Each our semi-final (towards Germany) and closing (towards The Netherlands) went to penalties. The turning level got here within the shoot-out towards Germany, when Shahbaz Ahmed took the penalty. He was reluctant to take the stroke, as he was not an everyday at it. However since we had nobody else to go for that shot, Shahbaz took the problem. His stroke barely crossed the goal-line, and it was his deception that beat the German keeper. We have been within the closing, and that match was one other thriller.

Holland have been the favourites within the closing, however we had an excellent sport, particularly within the second half. We had higher ball possession, extra circle entries and the next variety of photographs on the purpose, however we weren’t fortunate to complete the sport in regulation time. Gamers like Floris Jan Bovelander and Jeroen Delmee don’t miss penalties too usually, however each missed within the closing and we received the World Cup.

We had an exquisite staff in 1994. Shahbaz, Wasim Feroz, and Mansoor Ahmed have been all world-class gamers. There have been fewer distractions in my taking part in days. As of late, younger gamers have web, smartphones and all of the expertise to maintain them busy. We, then again, had nothing to take our consideration away from hockey. There have been too few cellphones and tv channels, so we slept on time and educated additional. It gave us a possibility to grasp our expertise and develop our sport. As of late, there is an excessive amount of distraction and these devices don’t enable our youth to focus. I assume if we have been taking part in on this era, we would not have been too totally different both.

Again then, we performed plenty of European leagues and likewise in Asian leagues in international locations similar to Bangladesh. These have been the early days {of professional} hockey, and taking part in overseas helped us develop our sport immensely. I nonetheless bear in mind Shahbaz was the very best paid international participant in Europe. Personally, I picked plenty of issues in Europe that helped me in my teaching profession. It constructed my base as a coach.

The present Pakistan staff is promising, however they must take each match very critically. We’re in a really robust pool, and each match will probably be like a closing. We did not qualify within the 2014 World Cup, however this staff has proven enhancements, albeit in patches. The occasion has expanded to 16 groups this 12 months, which really helped us qualify.

Pakistan have introduced in international coaches of late, and I believe the officers thought possibly it is time to give attention to disciplined hockey. I agree with that thought. Pakistan have all the time had skillful gamers, however they should study to play to a selected construction and formation. The gamers ought to know when and the place to showcase their expertise.

It is a time-consuming course of, and I believe we ought to be affected person. Workforce administration and officers should be endured with and never be eliminated after only a 12 months or two. We had a international coach for 2 years on this Olympic cycle, and that definitely helped. We then switched again to a home coach earlier than shifting to Roelant Oltmans. There needs to be some consistency with these appointments. We have to handle plenty of areas, and consistency with coaches is the important thing. The subcontinent federations should deal with subcontinent coaches the way in which they deal with European coaches.

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