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Strong defence line is our key strength: Birendra Lakra

New Delhi, 08 January 2015: : Every new season of the Hero Hockey India League brings new zeal in each player in all the participating teams, which drive new energy and passion in players on the turf. Along with the other players in Ranchi Rays, defender Birendra Lakra will step on the turf with the same new zeal in the first match of the season and aim to see his team reach the finals of HHIL 2015.

The 24-year-old fullback defender, who will be playing his third Hero HIL, plays a very crucial role in the team as an indestructible wall in front of opponent’s attacks. Last season, the Jharkhand player received many Man-of-the-Match awards for his stunning performance in the defence and his performance contributed to the team reaching the semi-finals of the last season.

In the Hero HIL 2015, Birendra will be supported by Amit Rohidas, Justin Reid-Ross of South Africa, Fergus Kavanagh of Australia along with new recruit Anand Lakra in the defence line. Ranchi Rays will also be benefitted from their established players such as Ashley Jackson and Barry Middleton (both from England), Nicolas Wilson of New Zealand along with new players Trent Mitton and Daniel Beale of Australia.

Speaking on his preparation, Birendra Lakra said, “This year we are very much motivated as the whole squad will be playing for the third season together. We all are practicing hard and maintaining our focus on the preparation. This year I wish to play a bigger role for my team and am working on other areas like midfield and penalty corner. I need to overcome my weaknesses in these areas and my added skills will surely help my team. The Hero HIL 2015 will be very tough as the best players will contest to win the title. My objective will be restricting opponent’s goal scoring chances and I believe that a strong defence is the base of a successful team. If I, Amit Rohidas, Justin Reid-Ross and Fergus Kavanagh manage clean sheets in our home matches, then our chances for the finals become stronger.”

Speaking on his team, Birendra Lakra said, “This season again I feel, Ranchi Rays is one of the title contenders keeping in mind the team line-up we have in place. With the top class players like Ashley Jackson, Barry Middleton and Nicolas Wilson, we can maintain a winning momentum in the League.”

The inaugural day of the 3rd Hero Hockey India League will see Ranchi Rays taking on Kalinga Lancers on 22nd January 2015, in Bhubaneswar. Hero Hockey India League will be telecasted LIVE on Star Sports.

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