ISLAMABAD-Pakistan national volleyball team Iranian head coach Hamid Movahedi has said that he has found exceptional female talent in Karachi and deputed five coaches to train them.

In an interview with The Nation, Haimd said: “Pakistan never paid any heed towards working on national volleyball teams, which resulted in national men’s volleyball team is lacking way behind in Asia and at world level, Pakistan team is nowhere. But after saying that, I can assure all that in my last 6 months or so, I have worked very hard and I hope talented Pakistani players can compete against any given team and produce more than desired results.”

He said that he must accept that Pakistan Volleyball Federation (PVF) chairman Chaudhry Yaqoob is a huge supporter and lover of volleyball and his efforts couldn’t be denied. “The passion of PVF chief for the game brought me here as national team coach and I have been working very hard with the teams. Now we have 18 youth team players and same amount of junior. It will take extra efforts as six months are not enough to change the fortunes of a national team. But now my youth and junior teams are top class and they will replace seniors in the next year or so. I still believe we need another 2 to 3 years to change its fortunes.”

Hamid said he had established a long-camp at Peshawar and he was pleased with the hard work of juniors. “In only six months, my players participated in the junior event and bagged fourth position, which is quite heartening and a proof that we are on right track. My six months contract expires last month, but the federation has already told me that they will extend my contract in a day or two.

“Currently, I am working on junior team for the upcoming Youth Championship in Iran in July and Junior Championship in Bahrain. For the very first time in Pakistan, we have established youth team age group 17, while juniors are U-19. They are mentally and physically very strong and training very hard, while their heights are also favourable. I am very optimistic about my players’ chances in the junior and youth events.

“I also worked on beach volleyball and female volleyball team. I went to Karachi where I have seen very talented young girls who turned up for trials. I picked 28 players, who would be an asset for Pakistan in the coming years. They were tall and had great passion for the game. I have deputed five assistant coaches in Karachi to train them well. I will also invite them to Islamabad for a camp. Actually, they need international exposure which will certainly help them excel at higher level,” he added.

Replying to a query regarding extension in his contract, Hamid said: “Off course, I have worked very hard for the last several months and turned the raw material into a team. For next few years, they need top class training and international matches, so until Pakistani team play international matches, they couldn’t improve. I have a long-term plan for Pakistan volleyball and I can easily say that future of Pakistan volleyball is quite bright.”