Shahid Ali Khan – Hockey Goalkeeper (Pakistan)

Shahid Ali khan is a retired field hockey goalkeeper from Pakistan, who later became the Pakistan’s goal keeping coach. Shahid Ali khan represented Pakistan for about ten years from 1981 to 1993. For about three years from 1986 to 1989 he was dropped from the side because of his poor form. He made his comeback because of his absolute firmness of courage and was able to succeed Mansoor who was the number one custodian in the year 1990. His great match temperament helped him once again to become the goal keeper for the Pakistan Hockey team. His memorable performance of stopping a Dutch penalty stroke in 1982 world cup semifinals at his age of 17 that too in his second international match was commendable.
During Shahid Ali Khan’s days because of the fast and true synthetic surf, attempts and attacks on the goal was more. During his days Shahid Ali Khan played about 135 matches and he was considered as one of the best goalkeepers of field hockey. He was one of the players of Pakistan Hockey team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles California. He was also responsible for winning a bronze medal in Barcelona, Spain in the year 1982 when he was just 18 years old.
In earlier days Pakistan goal keeping was considered as the weakest, there was no technical perfection and their performance was purely based on their courage and bravery. Shahid Ali Khan was one of those technically perfect goal keepers like Mansoor Ahmed and Saleem Sherwani. Shahid Ali Khan became a prominent hockey goal keeper when Indian Junior hockey team visited Pakistan in Feb 1982. He has won many gold medals in various competitions. He has seven silver medals and three bronze medals to his credit and he was rated as the goal keeper of highest class. Some of his shows have helped Pakistan in winning vital matches in the International competitions. Recognizing his outstanding performance he was awarded the Presidents’ pride of Performance medal in the year 1993.
The concept of a goalkeeper coach in field hockey has been the trend these days because it is more important to provide expert guidance to the goal keeper to improve technical performance. Shahid Ali Khan has been the goal keeper coach for Pakistan because goal keepers play a very important role. He insisted the goal keeper to come forward and attack during penalty corners unlike the European method of staying back. Shahid Ali Khan is a strong believer of home coaches than foreign coaches for the Pakistan hockey team. He felt that the foreign coaches will find it difficult in local conditions and communication will become a major problem. Pakistan’s goal keeper coach Shahid Ali Khan successfully turned Khairul Nizam the Pakistan goalkeeper who was not moving between the posts and changed him to a more flexible and reliable goalkeeper. When he was appointed as Malaysia hockey team’s goalkeeper coach he improved Malaysia goalkeeper Kumar’s performance. Kumar and Shahid Ali Khan had a wonderful understanding which is incomparable. Kumar’s willingness to work hard and Shahid Ali Khan’s dedication made the pair very successful.

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