Home » News » India » Delhi Waveriders take on UP Wizards in HIL

Delhi Waveriders take on UP Wizards in HIL

Press Trust of India

Last Updated: January 22, 2015, 22:33 IST

Delhi Waveriders take on UP Wizards in HIL

Delhi Waveriders will look to launch their title defence on a positive note against hosts Uttar Pradesh Wizards in their opening match of the third Hockey India League.

Lucknow: Delhi Waveriders will look to launch their title defence on a positive note against hosts Uttar Pradesh Wizards in their opening match of the third Hockey India League on Friday.

The last time both the teams met, it was the semi-finals of the second edition of the HIL where Delhi got the better off the Wizards and the hosts will be eagar to pay them back on Friday.

With the Lucknow crowd cheering and backing their team to go for the kill, Uttar Pradesh Wizards will be fancing their chances on Friday.

Beefed by the addition of Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh, Oltmans coached team has in place a strong defence line-up with the likes of Raghunath, Marcel Balkestein, Wouter Jolie and Harbir Singh.

Also with the mid-field position getting strengthened by the addition of Bob De Voogd of Netherlands and Shea McAleese of New Zealand, the UP Wizards team looks a formidable line-up which every other team should be weary of.

On the other side, Delhi will be looking at living upto their defending champions tag. The inclusion of defender Andrew Hayward of New Zealand has strengthened the current defence line-up which boosts of names like Rupinder Pal Singh, Steven Edwards of New Zealand and Andres Mir Bel of Spain.

Delhi will be looking at Yuvraj Walmiki, who was leading the field goal table in the last edition wherein he struck 5 field goals, to earn them the field goals. The team would also be looking at Rupinder Pal Singh to convert the penalty corners for the team.

Captain Raghunath had converted eight important penalty corners in the last edition and he would be aiming at continuing his form in the upcoming edition.

Speaking on the match tomorrow, Delhi Waveriders captain Sardar Singh said, "In the last two editions of the League, the team has been performing exceptionally well. In this season too we are looking forward to a good start of the league by winning the first match as it will boost the confidence and morale of the team." .

"So this makes the opening game even more important for us. In this edition, all the teams are equally good and well prepared. Uttar Pradesh Wizards has a really good line-up of players and it is going to be a tough competition for us," Sardar Singh said.

"We are aiming at successfully incorporating all the strategies and duties assigned by the coach. In addition to it, we will be using the strengths of the players to the maximum and eventually win the first match."

His opposite number VR Raghunath said, "We want to start the tournament on a positive note. We are looking forward to a healthy match tomorrow with Delhi Wave Riders. We will be playing on our strong points and we hope to put up a fantastic show tomorrow."

Speaking on the clash tomorrow, Delhi Head Coach Cedric D'Souza said, "If we look at this season of the League, all the teams are very balanced and stacked with good players so it's going to be tough competition but the first match is always the tougher one.

"It's like getting your feet on the ground properly.

Uttar Pradesh Wizards is a strong team and so are we so all I want to say is that may the best team win. We have learnt from our past mistakes and tried to rectify them.

"As a team, we will play to the best of our strengths and cover our weaknesses. It all depends on the performance on that given day as the level of competition is very high and we look forward to repeat history this year."

first published:January 22, 2015, 22:33 IST
last updated:January 22, 2015, 22:33 IST