With Sardar looking at opening the League with a win, Raghunath will aim at not allowing the Defending Champions the desired result
Lucknow, 22 January 2015: Tomorrow will be the day when all eyes will be on the Defending Champions and how they perform in their opening match, while the crowd of Lucknow will seen cheering and backing their team to go for the kill. Last when both the teams had met was in the semi-final match of the second edition of the Hero Hockey India League wherein UP Wizards lost the match to Delhi Waveriders which stopped them from reaching the Finale.
With Uttar Pradesh Wizards looking at pay back where they lost to Delhi Waveriders by 1 goal to 0, Sardar Singh led team would be aware of this and will not allow the opponents of getting the better of them.
Beefed by the addition of Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh Oltmans coached team has in place a strong defence line-up with the likes of Raghunath, Marcel Balkestein, Wouter Jolie and Harbir Singh. Also with the mid-field position getting strengthened by the addition of Bob De Voogd of Netherlands and Shea McAleese of New Zealand the UP Wizards team looks a formidable line-up and which every other team should be weary of. On the other side, Delhi Waveriders will be looking at living upto their Defending Champions tag and with the inclusion of Defender Andrew Hayward of New Zealand it strengthens the already present line-up of Defence with names like Rupinder Pal Singh, Steven Edwards of New Zealand and Andres Mir Bel of Spain.
It will be interesting to see which team has the better of the other in their opening match tomorrow. While the Delhi team will be looking at Yuvraj Walmiki to earn them the field goals and who was leading the field goal table in the last edition wherein he struck 5 field goals in the entire edition, the team would also be looking at Rupinder Pal Singh to convert the penalty corners for the team. On the other hand it was Captain Raghunath who converted 8 important penalty corners in the last edition and who would be aiming at continuing his form in the upcoming edition and converting important penalty corner opportunities for his team.
Speaking on the match tomorrow Captain Sardar Singh, Delhi Waveriders said, “In the last two editions of the League, the team has been performing exceptionally well. In this season too we are looking forward to a good start of the league by winning the first match as it will boost the confidence and morale of the team. So this makes the opening game even more important for us. In this edition, all the teams are equally good and well prepared. Uttar Pradesh Wizards has a really good line-up of players and it is going to be a tough competition for us. We are aiming at successfully incorporating all the strategies and duties assigned by the coach. In addition to it, we will be using the strengths of the players to the maximum and eventually win the first match.”
Speaking on the all important match Captain VR Raghunath, Uttar Pradesh Wizards said, “We want to start the tournament on a positive note. We are looking forward to a healthy match tomorrow with Delhi Wave Riders. We will be playing on our strong points and we hope to put up a fantastic show tomorrow.”
Speaking on the clash tomorrow, Head Coach Cedric D’Souza, Delhi Waveriders said, “If we look at this season of the League, all the teams are very balanced and stacked with good players so it’s going to be tough competition but the first match is always the tougher one. It’s like getting your feet on the ground properly. Uttar Pradesh Wizards is a strong team and so are we so all I want to say is that may the best team win. We have learnt from our past mistakes and tried to rectify them. As a team, we will play to the best of our strengths and cover our weaknesses. It all depends on the performance on that given day as the level of competition is very high and we look forward to repeat history this year.”