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Team focus: Hockey India League - Kalinga Lancers

A peek at the new-look Kalinga Lancers as they look to improve on their last-placed finish at last year's HIL

Preview 15 Jan 2015, 22:33 IST
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Kalinga Lancers
Kalinga Lancers

Kalinga Lancers finished with a wooden spoon in their first season in the Hockey India League (HIL) last year. They were the so-called “whipping boys” of the 2014 season, having suffered 7 losses and managing only 2 wins. Despite the presence of the astute Terry Walsh as coach, Kalinga Lancers got it all wrong from the beginning and could not produce a cohesive performance.

However, this year the team would try to come out all guns blazing after learning from their previous experiences in the HIL. They have made their intentions very clear by appointing a new coach Jude Felix and doing some shrewd business in the auction. Adding the likes of Gurjinder Singh (defender) and Australian Andrew Charter (goalkeeper), they would try to focus on their Achilles’ heel – defence.


Team Overview

Owner: IDCO & Mahanadi Coalfield Ltd.

Head Coach: Jude Felix

Assistant Coach: Lazarus Barla

Manager: Ajay Kumar Bansal

Captain: Prabodh Tirkey

Home Stadium: Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneshwar (Capacity – 6000)

Team Composition

PLAYER

POSITION

COUNTRY

Andrew Charter

Goalkeeper

Australia

Harjot Singh

Goalkeeper

India

Ramon Alegre

Defender

Spain

Gurjinder Singh

Defender

India

Dipsan Tirkey

Defender

India

Aran Zalewski

Defender

India

Gonzalo Peillat

Defender

Argentina

Russell Ford

Forward

Australia

Mohammad Nizamuddin

Forward

India

Roshan Minz

Forward

India

Mandeep Antil

Forward

India

Lalit Kumar Upadhyay

Forward

India

Lucas Villa

Forward

Argentina

Pradhan Sommanna

Forward

India

Vickram Kanth

Midfielder

India

Glenn Simpson

Midfielder

Australia

Devindar Sunil Walmiki

Midfielder

India

Roc Oliva Isern

Midfielder

Spain

Vikas Sharma

Midfielder

India

Mohammad Amir Khan

Midfielder

India

Prabodh Tirkey Midfielder India

Kiel Brown

Midfielder

Australia

Ryan Jeffrey Archibald

Midfielder

New Zealand

Key Players

Defence:

Defence has been a cause for concern for the Lancers, as they conceded 34 goals in last year’s tournament. Despite having the burly Gonzalo Peillat and seasoned Ramon Alegre at the back their defence line was breached easily.

To solve their defensive woes, they have brought in the sturdy Gurjinder Singh this year.The combination duo of Peillat and Gurjinder would be an interesting one to watch out for as both are known for their solid defending and lethal drag flicks.

Midfield:

Lancers’ midfield roster does look light on paper as they have no known face from the national squad .All the Indian players are young and short in experience barring veteran Prabodh Tirkey. Glenn Simpson and Ryan Archibald would be the two pivots who have to marshal their young team-mates and control the game in the middle.

Forward:

Upfront, Lancers have Argentinian Lucas Vila – one of the biggest names in the international hockey. Those who are unaware of him, just take a look at his exploits in the just concluded Champions Trophy. His mazy dribbles and sublime first touches are impeccable.

Australian Rusell Ford and the Indian Lalit Upadhyay add further depth to the forward line. Pradhan Somanna and Mandeep Antil are other young Indian forwards who can chip in with crucial goals and turn the game in their favour.

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