LAHORE The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), after getting green signal from the sports ministry, has appointed Michel van den Heuvel as coach of the national team with a hope that he would take the team to the Olympics podium. The new foreign coach will join the training camp of the Pakistan hockey team on June 21 at Hockey Club of Pakistan Stadium, Karachi. The contract between the PHF and Michel will be till London Olympics 2012. Van den Heuvel guided the Netherlands to a bronze medal in the New Delhi World Cup. He will be Pakistans third foreign coach, succeeding fellow Dutchmen Hans Jorritsma, appointed in 1994, and Roelant Oltmans, in 2000. Secretary PHF Muhammad Asif Bajwa said that the decision to appoint Van den Heuvel, former coach of the Netherlands national squad, was taken after serious deliberation. The PHF has decided to take every measure to revive our fortune and providing a foreign coach was one of them. So we have taken this decision in the best interest of the game. He said that the PHF thought that this was the only way to get back to the top and we would give him (Van den Heuvel) complete support and were sure that he was capable of delivering the goods. Pakistan, winner of three Olympic gold and four world titles, slumped to their worst-ever finish in the 12-team World Cup held in New Delhi in February-March this year. The flop prompted the PHF to sack coach Shahid Ali Khan amid furious criticism from former Olympians, officials and fans. Former Olympian Khawaja Junaid was temporarily appointed coach for the last months seven-nation Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia in which Pakistan finished fifth. Bajwa hoped fears about security in Pakistan would not be an issue for Van den Heuvel. Former German coach Paul Lissek and Australias Barry Dancers had been considered but were reluctant to stay in Pakistan. Foreign sports teams and players have also refused to tour Pakistan due to security fears. Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants have killed about 3,400 people across the country since July 2007. An ambush on the Sri Lankan cricket team in March 2009 killed eight people and wounded seven players, ending Pakistans hopes of hosting international sports events in the near future. Pakistans hockey team will tour Spain next month before competing in Octobers Commonwealth Games in Delhi and Novembers Asian Games in China. Pakistan hockey has suffered a serious slump in form, after the nation team won their last major title in the World Cup in Australia in 1994.