Mohali, Jan 24:
Buoyed by the resounding opening match win in the Hero Hockey India League (HIL), Kalinga Lancers are all set to play against last year’s runners-up Punjab Warriors at the hockey stadium here Sunday.
Led by the very efficient Jamie Dwyer, the Barry Dancer-coached team Warriors will bring the best tricks of the trade into play when they step out on the turf to face the Lancers.
With International Hockey Federation (FIH) 2014 Goalkeeper of the Year Jaap Stockmann guarding the nets for them, the Warriors will be looking at creating maximum scoring opportunities and increasing the goal conversion rate to register their first win in the League.
“We have to concentrate every second and we can’t relax at all either on the first minute or the last minute of the match. This cost us three points in the last match yesterday,” five-time FIH Player of the Year Dwyer said.
The Australian also expects veteran drag-flicker Sandeep Singh, who scored two goals against Mumbai, to continue his good form.
“Sandeep is flicking good along with Christopher (Ciriello). He flicks and defends well and is doing a good job for the team and we are looking at him contributing in the same manner in the forthcoming matches.”
“According to me Punjab Warriors is the strongest team in the league. While they have not won the league title till now, but we still can’t take away the fact that they have some of the best players in their squad,” Lancers coach Jude Felix said.
Midfielder Vickram Kanth-led Lancers will be looking at testing themselves against a very strong team. While all eyes will again be on the young Gurjinder Singh to convert the penalty corners for his team, Lucas Vila and Ryan Archibald will aim to regularly penetrate the opponents’ circle.
Confident of a good show, Warriors head coach Barry Dancer said: “We are looking at improving ourselves. We have to adjust and respond better against the opposition and that is the challenge for our team. The objective from here is to better ourselves. We are confident that we will turn the game in our favour.” (IANS)