Hockey India League evenly balanced: Delhi Waveriders coach Cedric D’Souza
The 2016 Coal India Hockey India League is just a few weeks away and one team – the Delhi Waveriders – are looking to put their best foot forward.
Under newly-appointed coach Cedric D’Souza, the Delhi outfit will be keen to improve on their third-place finish in the 2015 Hockey India League. But it won’t be a stroll in the park for Delhi Waveriders as all six teams appear competitive enough to give each other a run for their money.
“All six teams will be well prepared for the 2016 Coal India Hockey India League. It won’t be fair to say this or that team are the favourites. I believe all teams are evenly balanced and we can expect some high-octane action in the 2016 Coal India Hockey India League,” says Delhi Waveriders head coach Cedric D’Souza.
D Souza, who has twice served as the national men’s team coach and even guided the national team to a creditable fifth place finish at the 1994 Sydney World Cup, refrained from divulging his plans for the 2016 edition. “Every team will have their plans in place and our side is no different. I won’t like to talk about it as the entire team is yet to assemble for our week-long preparatory camp. We will take it from there,” he says.
Delhi Waveriders let go Indian skipper Sardar Singh among the ‘six retained players’ at the September auctions and did the same with Rupinder Pal Singh but later bought him for the 2016 edition. “I think that’s history now. The idea is to have a well balanced side for the 2016 HIL and every team’s objective was on those lines at the auction. Let’s look forward with the bunch of guys I have at my disposal,” Cedric makes his point.
What is his take on the short preparatory camps of every franchise for the Hockey India League?
“I guess all are professionals. I don’t think you can work on any basics of any player – most of them know their job and it’s all about fine-tuning our preparations by focusing more on coordinated efforts so that we play as a unit. Any coach would want more time at his disposal but under the circumstances week-long camps are just fine... better some time than none,” he concludes.