The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has signed the Dutchman Siegfried Aikman as head coach of its senior and junior teams until 2026.
Aikman has already left as an observer with the senior national team from Bangladesh for the Asian Champions Trophy and will take over the reins of the team after the tournament.
“Aikman will be an observer and official at the Asian event where Khawaja Junaid will be the head coach. But later he will take on coaching duties for the senior national team and also support the youngsters and the academy, “said PHF General Secretary Asif Bajwa.
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Aikman, 62, a FIH qualified trainer, was also in Bhubaneswar in Odisha, India to watch the Pakistani juniors finish 11th in the recent FIH Junior World Cup.
Aikman said in a statement that he did not know much about the Pakistani players at the moment and had brief conversations with them, but that he would prepare long-term and short-term plans for Pakistani hockey.
“While it’s important to build a strong team of players for big events like the Olympics and the World Cup, Pakistani hockey also needs a few wins at this time to get the sport going,” he said.
Bajwa said the federal government has taken responsibility for paying Aikman’s contract fees.
“We brought in a foreign coach because he has had good results with our players in the past and we are now preparing for the Asian Games next year,” said Bajwa.
Aikman coached the Japanese hockey team during the Tokyo Olympics.
Pakistan has had foreign coaches in the past but they are in a higher league than Aikman in terms of profile.
Under Hans Jorristsma, the Dutch coach, Pakistan won the World Cup and the Champions Trophy in 1994. Roelant Oltmans also led the team.
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