Dharamvir Singh confident of Kalinga Lancers’ chances in 2016 Hockey India League
The Kalinga Lancers will look to resurrect themselves at the 2016 Coal India Hockey India League after two disappointing outings in the 2014 and 2015 editions, having had a last-place finish in 2014 and fifth place finish in 2015.
Under new coach Mark Hager, the Odisha franchise will be keen to turn over a new lead in the 2016 edition. And one man they will be hoping to provide them stability upfront is Indian midfielder-cum-forward Dharamvir Singh.
The 25-year-old has been in sparking form in the domestic circuit, slamming two sizzling hat-tricks in the Mumbai Gold Cup for his employers Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) .
He is now looking to replicate that form at the 2016 Coal India Hockey India League. “It’s always a good feeling to contribute for my team and I was glad that I could when it needed for IOC in the Mumbai Gold Cup. Hope to take the good run in the Mumbai Gold Cup into the 2016 Coal India Hockey India League,” Dharamvir says in an informal chat from Bhubaneshwar.
The Indian player, who was part of the gold-winning Asian Games team, is making his debut for Kalinga Lancers after playing for three seasons for Jaypee Punjab Warriors. “Playing for Jaypee Punjab Warriors alongside big stars like Jamie Dwyer, Jaap Stockmann, Mark Knowles, Simon Orchard, Chris Ciriello was a huge learning curve. I’m sure my Kalinga Lancers stint will add more to my game,” adds Dharamvir, who was bought for $60,000 by the team.
He believes Kalinga Lancers have every reason to be optimistic about finishing in the top four and beyond.
“We have a nice blend of youth and experience. We have Moritz Fuerste, who is world-class and his presence will hugely help the side. The Aussie duo of Aran Zalewski and Glenn Turner will lend a fair amount of experience to our forwardline. Our Indian guys like Pradeep Mor, SK Uthappa, Devinder Walmiki, Gurjinder Singh and Lalit Upadhyay are highly talented and overall we have a side that can do really well in the 2016 edition.”
Dharamvir is keyed up about playing under new coach Hager. “I had played under Barry Dancer for three seasons for Jaypee Punjab Warriors. It will be nice to play under an Australian great like Mark Hager at Kalinga Lancers. He was a great striker in his heyday and there will be a lot to learn from him,” he concludes.