KARACHI - Pakistan junior hockey team captain M Umar Bhutta has said on Wednesday that their main objective in Asia Cup is to qualify for the next year's Junior World Cup being held in India.
"We would be flying to Malaysia for Junior Asia Cup with our resolute to reach the final," he told APP as they prepared to leave for Kuala Lumpur on Thursday evening to take part in the event which starts from May 3.
"Pakistan juniors got a balanced combination with five members of senior team in the line-up," he commented. "Our first target would be to make to the semi finals," 20- year-old Bahawalpur-born Bhutta with 38 senior caps under his belt, said.
"Presence of senior players will give the boys confidence and boost," he maintained. "Besides good performances we needed a bit element of luck to qualify for the knock-out stage," he said and added that India and China are good teams and it will be good fight with them.
The 7th edition of Junior Asia Cup is scheduled to be held in the Malaysian city of Malacca May 3-13. Being hosts India have already qualified for next year's Junior World Cup, the other seven teams will be fighting for remaining two berths allocated by the International Hockey Federation.
Arch-rivals India and Pakistan with China and Sri Lanka are placed in Group "B".
"All the boys know that how important event is for them and we would be battling to bring glory and honour to the country," he reckoned.
Talented and swift Umar Bhutta, who had represented Pakistan in World Cup and Commonwealth Games and two Azlan Shah Cup said team management under chief coach and manager Rana Mujahid, Danish Kaleem, Saeed Anjum and Ahmed Alam really worked hard on their grey areas.
He said besides good forward line, Pakistan juniors have good penalty corner strikers in Tousiq Ahmed and Aleem Bilal. In the meantime Pakistan junior team will be winding up their training camp after extended training session on Thursday.