COOKIE CONSENT
Create
Notifications
Favorites Edit

Team focus: Hockey India League - Uttar Pradesh Wizards

ANALYST
1.91K   //    19 Jan 2015, 13:37 IST

For UP Wizards,  Hero Hockey India League (HHIL) journey has always been a case of so near and yet so agonizingly far. Reaching the semi-finals of the tournament in both the previous editions in 2013 & 2014, their league phase consistency has always come up short in the final rounds. Although they have managed to finish third & fourth in previous seasons respectively, it does not seem good enough for a team boasting of players like V.R. Raghunath, Legendary Teun de Nooijer and the dynamic S.K. Uthappa.

Not to be denied the glory anymore, they would surely be in a defiant mood this season to hold their nerves right till the end and finish the job. Easier said than done. Nevertheless, the task seems achievable this time as they now have one of the best Goalkeepers in P.R. Sreejesh under the bar and backing from none other than Suresh Raina,the new co-owner of the team.

Team Overview

Owner: Sahara India Pariwar & Suresh Raina

Head Coach: Roelant Oltmans

Manager: Maneck Kotwal

Captain: V.R. Raghunath

Home Stadium: Dhyan Chand Stadium, Lucknow (Capacity – 10,000)

Team Composition


Player

Nationality

Position

Kumar Subramaniam

Malaysia

Goalkeeper

Sreejesh PR

India

Goalkeeper

George Bazeley

Australia

Goalkeeper

M Gunasekar

India

Forward

Tushar Khandker

India

Forward

Ramandeep Singh

India

Forward

Nikin Thimmaiah

India

Forward

Nithin Thimmaiah

India

Forward

S K Uthappa

India

Forward

Harmanpreet Singh Bal

India

Forward

Jasjit Singh Kular

India

Forward

Jeroen Hertzberger

Netherland

Forward

Marcel Balkestein

Netherland

Defender

Jolie Wouter

Netherland

Defender

V R Raghunath

India

Defender

Harbir Singh

India

Defender

Alexander Baart

Netherland

Midfielder

David Alegre

Spain

Midfielder

Bob De Voogd

Netherland

Midfielder

Shea McAleese

New Zealand

Midfielder

Sumit

India

Midfielder

Eddie Ockenden

Australia

Midfielder

Pradeep Mor

India

Midfielder

Harjeet Singh

India

Midfielder

 

Past Performances

The stats of the past two years aptly represent their mid table standings. With an overall winning percentage of 40% and averaging 2 goals for and against both per match, their performances have been a balanced one. While they have easily dispatched the weaker teams, it is the stronger opponents against whom they have faltered most of the times.

Key Players

Defence

Mercurial V.R. Raghunath would be the man in command at the back. Much would be expected from him as he will now be the Captain for a consecutive third season and must deliver a skipper’s performance. Fans would also love to see an encore of his delicious Jalebi Style drag flick which he beautifully executed last year.

He would be assisted by talented Dutch internationals Marcel Balkestein and Jolie Wouter adding further depth to the backline. However, their main trump card would be the star goalkeeper P.R, Sreejesh. His acrobatic saves and quick reflexes could be the deciding factor in close matches.

Midfield

Seasoned campaigner Edward Ockenden and the Spanish David Alegre would be accountable in the middle of the park. Everything will boil down to their ability to break the opponents charge and manufacture a quick counter-attack. Pradeep Mor,Harjeet Singh and Sumit would be the young Indians in the midfield playing their part in a supporting role.

Forward

The biggest problem for the Wizards has been the lack of form of their marquee player Teun de Nooijer. Once the highest paid player of HHIL, he hasn’t  quite justified his huge price tag and seems to be out of depth. He definitely needs to find his old touch and goal scoring ability.

Wizards although have plenty of young Indian forwards who can dribble, tackle and score in abundance. Nikkin Thimmaiah,S K Uthappa, Ramandeep Singh,Tushar Khandker are the ones to watch out for.

Topics you might be interested in:
ANALYST
Fetching more content...