Dabang Mumbai start preparatory camp for HIL

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Mumbai, Jan 10 (IANS) The Dabang Mumbai franchise of the Hockey India League (HIL) kicked off its preparatory camp for the third edition of the tournament at the MHA Hockey Stadium Friday.

The opening day was a relatively easy outing for the Indian players under the watchful eyes of assistant coach Anil Aldrin, goalkeeping coach Edgar Mascrenhas and team mentor Viren Rasquinha.

“Since it was the first day of the camp we kept things a bit light as the players, who have earlier played together for a club or national team, regrouped and did some target practice,” Rasquinha said in a release.

“From tomorrow onwards the practice sessions would be more focused and planned.

The team would be having two training – endurance and skills – sessions every day with all the foreign players expected to join the squad before Jan 15.

The team has tried to maintain a distinct Mumbai character to the squad by picking six players – including the experienced Adrian D’Souza and Vikram Pillay – who have been products of Mumbai hockey and have an instant connect with the fans and fellow players.

Speaking about the team’s chances in the league and his return to HIL, former India custodian Adrian D’Souza said, “Last year I was in commentary box and this year I am playing. It is always nice to play before the home crowd.

“We have a good set of players, Indian and foreign recruits. We hope to do well. I have always been big fan of Glen Turner. It will be nice to play alongside him,” he added.

The HIL will begin Jan 22 and Mumbai will play their opener on home turf Jan 23.

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