Coal India Hockey India League 2016: Know Your Coaches
Harendra Singh – Coach, Ranchi Rays
The hard-working coach took charge of Ranchi Rays for the 2015 edition when the owners changed hands and Ranchi Rhinos was rechristened Ranchi Rays. Harendra is the Indian junior men’s team coach and probably the best man to know the best young talents in the country.
He took over from South African Gregg Clark, and guided the Ranchi outfit to glory in his first HIL stint – the second league crown for the Ranchi franchise.
Harendra, who had played for Mumbai in the domestic circuit for many years and even coached the Indian senior men’s team for a short stint, will have high expectations from his talented side boasting of the likes Ashley Jackson, Barry Middleton, Fergus, Kavanagh, Birendra Lakra, Manpreet Singh and Kothajit Singh besides pricey Sandeep Singh.
Jay Stacy – Coach, Dabang Mumbai
He is the third foreign coach to be in the ‘hot seat’ of Dabang Mumbai.
Jay Stacy takes over from German Valentin Altenburg who guided the side in the 2015 edition. Earlier, another Australian, Ric Charlesworth, had coached the now-defunct Mumbai Magicians.
Stacy has been a prolific player for Australia, representing the Kookaburras in four Olympics (1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000) in addition to featuring in 13 Champions Trophy.
He remained the most capped Australian men’s hockey player, with 321 internationals to his credit, for a long time – a record which was broken by Jamie Dwyer last year. Stacy has at his disposal talented players like Florian Fuchs, Nikkin Thimmaiah and Harmanpreet Singh, who can spike the guns of any team on any given day.
Roger Van Gent – Coach, Uttar Pradesh Wizards
He is the only Dutch coach in the 2016 Coal India Hockey India League.
Gent, who was appointed assistant coach of the Indian senior men’s team in November 2015, replaces Roelant Oltmans, who decided against taking any coaching role in the 2016 HIL given this is the Olympic year.
Gent joined the national team as a strategic coach, and played club hockey for MEP in between 1978 and 1988. He had also coached the Kenyan men’s team in 2007 as an FIH high performance coach.
He will expect great things from India’s most expensive player, Akashdeep Singh, and 2016 HIL’s most expensive, Tobias Hauke as well as celebrated striker Jamie Dwyer, V Raghunath and PR Sreejesh.
Cedric D’Souza – Coach, Delhi Waveriders
He took charge of Delhi Waveriders for the first time in the 2014 edition, replacing AK Bansal.
The twice former national men’s team coach shepherded the Delhi franchise to glory beating Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the final. D’Souza let Indian skipper Sardar Singh go for the 2016 edition and instead will focus on younger talent to get the job done.
He will bank on Simon Child, Rupinder Pal Singh and Mandeep Singh to share a large chunk of the responsibility.
Barry Dancer – Coach, Jaypee Punjab Warriors
Barry Dancer is the only coach who is serving the side for the fourth consecutive time. The 63-year-old Australian has the distinction of coaching the national team to a gold medal finish at the 2004 Athens Olympics – their first Olympic gold.
Dancer, who played 48 internationals for the Kookaburras between 1973 and 1979, twice guided Jaypee Punjab Warriors to the finals of the 2014 and 2015 editions, but they finished runners-up on both occasions losing in shootouts.
He will hope to see the Punjab franchise win the league in 2016 with an even more robust midfield with the purchase of Indian captain Sardar Singh.
Mark Hager – Coach, Kalinga Lancers
Hager is another high-profile Australian in the Hockey India League, and will coach the Kalinga Lancers for the 2016 HIL.
A prolific goal-scorer in his playing days, Hager slammed 179 goals from 231 internationals. He is also the current coach of the New Zealand women’s team, whom he helped improve to a top side from being outside the top ten when he took charge in 2009.
Nicknamed ‘Horrible’, the former ace striker is the third coach of Lancers in three editions. He replaced Indian Jude Felix, who had taken over from Australian Terry Walsh.
Hager has some potent weapons in Moritz Fuertse, Dharamvir Singh and Gurjinder Singh to inflict damage on the opposition.