Pakistan Great Tahir Zaman Named Oman Hockey Coach

Pakistan Great Tahir Zaman Named Oman Hockey Coach
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Published December 6th, 2017 - 12:12 GMT via

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Tahir Zaman (right) and OHA president Talib al Wahaibi after signing the deal on Monday night (Photo: Muscat Daily)
Tahir Zaman (right) and OHA president Talib al Wahaibi after signing the deal on Monday night (Photo: Muscat Daily)
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Former Pakistan captain and coach Tahir Zaman will be the new coach of Oman hockey team. The hockey great signed a two-year deal with the Oman Hockey Association (OHA) on Monday night at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex on the sidelines of the ongoing His Majesty's Cup Hockey Championship.

The 48 year old Zaman is a FIH (world governing body) coach educator and also a senior high-performance coach. The former 1992 Olympics bronze-medal winning  captain of Pakistan will succeed Indian K K Poonacha, who parted ways with the OHA recently.

Soon after the exit of Poonacha, the OHA chairman, Talib al Wahaibi, set upon the task of appointing a high-performance coach and after shortlisting four top coaches, finally clinched the deal with Tahir Zaman.

In his remarks to Muscat Daily, Wahaibi said, “Oman deserves to have a top-class coach. We are delighted to have signed a deal with Tahir Zaman, a legendary player and a world-class coach.

“We hope to improve the overall hockey standards in the sultanate and this is why we have signed a two-year deal. With his experience as a FIH coach educator, he will also be guiding our coaches and senior and junior teams. I wish him all success and we hope to improve our rankings at world level.”
Wahaibi said that the deal also signals the intent of OHA to rope in the best in the trade and “we hope to achieve much-better results at international level under Tahir Zaman.”

Zaman's appointment as national coach makes him the second Pakistani to manage the national side.

In the past, another Olympian from Pakistan, Iftikhar Syed, had managed the sultanate side though the majority of coaches have been from India since the first official coach, S A S Naqvi of India, was appointed by the OHA in 1982.

Two Indian Olympians -  Inam-ur-Rehman and Joaquim Carvalho served as coach while former Indian player Poonacha had three stints as coach.

Besides the four Indians, the other national team coaches in the past were Mohsin Mustafa and Mohie Zaghlool of Egypt, Australia's Allan Sinclair and Germany's Oliver Kurtz.

It is a challenge,says Zaman

The former Pakistan great admitted that leading Oman will be quite a challenge as  there is a good scope of improvement among the Omani players.

In his remarks to Muscat Daily, the former Pakistan senior and junior teams’ coach said, “I have visited Oman in the past on three occasions to conduct coaching courses and I had the opportunity to watch the players play and have also followed the national team at Asian events lately. I think the players have the talent  and the potential to improve and this is what I am looking at.”

“The need is for a high-performance coaching of the players and refining their skills. It will take time to develop them and I take this responsibility as a challenge,” said Zaman, a member of the 1994 World Cup winning Pakistan side.

Zaman's last assignment was as coach of Pakistan junior team in 2016.

“During my two years stay, I would like to bring out the best in the Omani players. Also, my focus will be to have a uniform methodology of coaching, starting from the club level,” he said.

“The key is to have the domestic clubs and their coaches follow a single system, which will help the players to adopt a structure that can be easier to follow.

“At times, the players find it difficult to adopt or switch to new system from what they do at the club level. My role will be to ensure that local coaches also follow a system and that will enable a smooth transition of players at national level,” said the seasoned coach.

By Ashok Purohit

© Apex Press and Publishing

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