January 7, 2013: Jaypee Punjab Warriors kicked off their preparations for the upcoming Hockey India league in Jalandhar’s Surjeet Singh hockey stadium today with team training for over 3 hours. Despite extreme cold conditions, the boys were seen practising in the team’s jersey and shorts under the expert guidance of team’s Head Coach Barry Dancer, former coach of Australia’s national men’s team, Jagbir Singh, former Indian captain and coach, Mohammad Riaz, present Assistant coach of India’s national men’s team, and Charles Gaudoin, Australian trainer.
Talking after the first training session, Barry Dancer said, “This was the first day we practised as a team and I’m pleased to see that the team is bonding well, considering we have players from different countries and culture. We discussed the field plan and different formations, and I can confidently say we will be a tough opponent to beat in the upcoming league.”
Indian Hockey star Shivendra Singh added, “It was a great experience to see so many national and international players playing together. I am sure the young players, particularly those from Punjab, will benefit tremendously by playing with so many talented players and the best of training facilities.”
Jaap Stockmann, goalkeeper from Netherlands, arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, was impressed with the facilities provided by the team franchisee, the Rs. 20,000 crore Jaypee group, in Jalandhar. He said, “It is a very fulfilling experience to practice with such a versatile team and under the guidance of stalwarts of Hockey.”
While talking about his visit to India, he added, “It is a great to be in India and I am looking forward to trying some authentic Punjabi cuisine.”
The players had reached their home base in Jalandhar last evening. The Hockey India League will be held between 14th January and 10th February 2013. The Jaypee Punjab Warriors will face the Delhi Wave Riders in the opening encounter of the tournament on 14th January at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi.