Bhubaneswar :Kalinga Lancers are confident of turning a new leaf as they hope to start off with a win in the opening game of the season in Hockey India League under the mentorship of new coach Mark Hager.
The team open their campaign with a home match at Kalinga Stadium against Uttar Pradesh Wizards on January 18.
After the forgettable previous two seasons, Kalinga Lancers have made some crucial buys like Dharamvir Singh from Jaypee Punjab Warriors and look confident to start the season with a bang.
With a nice blend of youth and experience, the squad consists of world-class players like Moritz Fuerste, Aussie duo of Aran Zalewski and Glenn Turner and they will lend a fair amount of experience to the team’s forward line.
The highly talented Indian representation of Pardeep Mor, S K Uthappa, Devindar Walmiki, Gurjinder Singh and Lalit Upadhyay would give a perfect balance to the side which would aim for a top-four finish this edition.
Kalinga Lancers have appointed former Australian hockey player Mark Hager as the new chief coach. With 230 caps and 179 goals to his credit, Mark has been coaching the New Zealand Women (Black Sticks) team since 2009. He guided the New Zealand women team to victory at the 2009 Champions Challenge, silver at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and bronze at the 2011 Champions Trophy.
The team will see Abhinav Pandey and Andrew Charter guard the goal posts while Dipsan Tirkey, Pardeep Mor, Amit Rohidas, Gurjinder Singh, Anand Lakra, Matthew Willis, Matthew Dawson and Aran Zalewski will form the defensive wall for the team.
SK Uthappa, Dharamvir Singh, Devindar Walmiki, Moritz Fuerste, Adam Dixon and Quirijn Caspers will form the midfield, while the forward line will see Malak Singh, Lalit Upadhyay, Glenn Turner and Stanli Victor Minz.