Nippy Pakistan hockey forward Rehan Butt on Wednesday expressed confidence in his team’s strength for the Commonwealth Games. “We have done our training well and I am confident of the team’s success at the Games,” Butt told HT soon after arriving in the Games Village.
“Even before coming to India, we had a special physical training session, besides a specialised training camp at Holland,” he said, adding, “I am sure about the team’s good showing as the boys are raring to go.”
Terming the side quite balanced, Butt said the team’s target was next month’s Asian Games, and the Commonwealth Games would be a good build-up opportunity. “Asian Games is our main target, but we aren’t taking the CWG lightly,” said Butt, who was declared Asia’s best hockey player in 2008.
“We are a good experienced side; a mix of seniors and juniors and I know the boys are capable of delivering the goods, especially in crunch situations.”
He, however, conceded the CWG would be a real test for new Dutch coach Michel Van Den, who was coach of Holland in the World Cup. “So far, we have had a good experience with the new coach. Our success or failure would also decide the capability of Van Den,” said the ace striker.
“We aren’t favourites here with Australia and other strong teams around. But, I am sure everybody in the team will give off his best. We are not targetting gold at this stage. We will take it one match at a time and our priority would be to make it to the knockout stage," he said.
He also said there was no injury scare to the team. “We are all motivated enough to give off our best.” Butt also praised the facilities at the Village, saying, “So far, everything looks beautiful and fine. Only after spending a few days, we would be able to know the reality.”
Zeeshan Ashraf (capt), Mohd Imran, Mohd Irfan, Waseem Ahmed, Mohd Rasheed, Fareed Ahmed, Shafqat Rasool, Rehan Butt, Shakeel Abbasi, Haseem Khan, Waqas Sharif, Mohd Rizwan, Omer Bhutta, Imran Shah, Mohd Tauseeq, Kashif Javed.