Pakistan News: After weeks of deliberation, Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and Dutch head coach Michel van den Heuvel finally resolved all contractual issues, confirming the latter’s term with the Green Shirts until the 2012 London Olympics.
Heuvel, who took charge of a coaching clinic in Faisalabad upon his return to Pakistan, had previously expressed his reservation about the security situation in the country. He had also demanded a revision of his contract after Pakistan won gold at the 16th Asian Games in China.
But PHF Secretary Asif Bajwa confirmed all outstanding issues had been resolved and that his meeting with Heuvel had been very productive.
“We had a five-month contract with him before,” Bajwa told a local newspaper.
“But after that he was given an opportunity to review the contract and this time the PHF have roped him in him until the 2012 London Olympics. He will also be working extensively to reform the domestic structure in the country during this time.”
It is understood that the Dutchman has also been given a final say in the selection process, an issue which has created fissures among the selection committee and foreign coaches in Pakistan in the past.
Heuvel assumed charge of the Pakistan team in June 2010 after the Greenshirts put on its worst ever display in the World Cup in Delhi, finishing at 12th position. Under Heuvel they finished sixth at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. This was followed by the historic win at the Asian Games.
Heuvel’s big test now will come at the 2011 Champions Trophy and the London Olympics.
Team combination and the question of whether to stick with the much-heralded seniors or go for a young squad will be at the top of his agenda among other things.