KARACHI: Pakistan’s Iranian volleyball coach Hamid Movahedi on Sunday said that he saw great talent in Pakistan but it needs a solid financial push to prepare a fighting lot for future international assignments.
“No doubt there is immense talent here. I have come across some precious players but a team’s build up needs two to three years during which the players need good foreign exposure,” Movahedi told ‘The International News’ in an interview.
“If we look at Iran, Japan and Korea, they are among the top sides of Asia. They are professional and have all the resources to keep developing,” Movahedi said.“But in Pakistan volleyball is facing financial issues which hurt the country’s talent,” the coach said.
Movahedi took charge of Pakistan’s team early in April last year. Under his coaching Pakistan featured in the Islamic Games in Baku in May, World Championship qualifiers central Asian zone the same month in Kyrgyzstan and Asian Championship last summer in Indonesia.
For the last few months, Movahedi has been working on Pakistan’s youth and junior sides. The youth side will feature in the Asian Youth Championship to be held in Iran in July. Pakistan will feature in the Asian Junior Championship to be held in Bahrain the same month.
From both these events, four leading sides will qualify for the World Championships of their respective categories. Movahedi said that 2017 would be remembered as a historic year as Pakistan formed its youth side for the first time in history.
“The step will help the country immensely as it will boost Pakistan’s back-up. If you want to develop your side you need a large back-up pool and that is what we will be getting by training the youth and junior sides,” said Istanbul-based Movahedi.
The year 2018 will also be crucial for Pakistan’s senior brigade as the country will feature in the Asian Games in Indonesia to be held from August 18 to September 2 and AVC Cup to be hosted by Kyrgyzstan in September.
Movahedi said that the seniors would begin training for the two continental assignments in Islamabad from next month.“The seniors will begin training from February. First we will hold junior camp this month,” the coach said.
He said that Islamabad was a good choice for camp as there the equipment and hall were good. “You need a big hall and Islamabad has that,” the coach said. About Pakistan’s chances in Asian Games, Movahedi said that there was a more competitive environment in Asia. “There are some very good teams in Asia. For fighting them we need great work,” he said.
To a query, the Iranian coach said that he would focus on the senior side. He added that he would make a programme for the other coaches who would work on youth and junior sides. “Don’t worry I will find new coaches for youth and senior camps. I will give them programmes and try to monitor the proceedings. But my focus would be on the senior lot,” the coach said.
To another query, Movahedi said that it would be of great importance to give exposure to the seniors ahead of the Asian Games and AVC Cup. “We will definitely need foreign tours ahead of the Asian Games. I can arrange tours of Iran, Euro countries and America but you know financial issues will not allow us to take our team there. But realistically speaking we can visit Iran, Thailand and Kazakhstan who also have strong volleyball culture. That would help Pakistan,” Movahedi said.