HIL: Kalinga Lancers unveils jersey and mascot

Bhubaneswar: Kalinga Lancers, the Bhubaneswar-based hockey team promoted by Odisha Sports Development and Promotion Company (OSDPC), Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) and Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), on Friday unveiled its jersey for the upcoming fourth edition of Hockey India League (HIL), scheduled to begin here from January 18.

The team, which is making its third appearance in the league, will play under its new captain, German player Moritz Fuerste. Mark William Hager, the head coach of Women’s team of New Zealand, has been appointed as the new coach of the team.

Both players and mentors are hopeful of a better show this season.

“I feel Kalinga Lancers team is perfectly balanced in comparison to other franchisees. I also hope under the captaincy of Moritz and coach Hager, the team will perform its best this time. While the presence of foreign players would give the home team the required edge over others, Indian players would provide the perfect balance to the team,” Rajya Sabha member and team mentor Dillip Tirkey said.

“Odia players, including Dipsen and Anand, are fit and we are aiming for a semi-final berth this time,” stated Tirkey.

The host team’s performance in the last two seasons has not been noteworthy. Last year, it was able to win only three matches and in 2014 just two. In all, six franchises are taking part in the tournament this year.

In the opening match, Kalinga Lancers would play Uttar Pradesh Wizards on January 18 at Kalinga Stadium. In the other matches, the Lancers will take on Dabang Mumbai on January 21, Delhi Wave Riders on February 5, Punjab Warriors on February 7 and Ranchi Rays on February 8.

In the 20-member team, 12 are Indian while 8 are international players. The squad includes S K Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Devindar Sunil Walmiki, Moritz Feurste (Captain), Adam Dixon, Quirijn Caspers, Dipsan Tirkey, Pardeep Mor, Amit Rohidas, Gurjinder Singh, Anand Lakra, Mathew Willis, Mathew Dawson, Aran Zalewski, Abhinav Kumar Pandey (Goal Keeper), Andrew Charter (Goalkeeper), Malak Singh, Stanli Victor Minz, Lalit Kumar Upadhaya and Glenn Turner.