As the Ranchi Rays prepare to kick off the Hockey India league on Jan 22 , here is an overview of the team.
Performances in 2013, 2014
The boys from Ranchi have fully justified their team slogan – “Nas Nas Mein Hockey” – in the last two editions of the Hockey India League – they were crowned champions in the inaugural edition in 2013 and finished third in the next edition, after dominating the better part of the league stages. And the team appears to be fully charged up in the lead up to the latest edition of HIL, which is scheduled to begin on 22nd January at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, primarily because of the advent of the nation’s heartthrob M.S. Dhoni as a co-owner of the team.
Team at a glance
Owner – Sahara India Parivar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Home Stadium – Birsa Munda Stadium, Ranchi
Team Captain –Ashley Jackson
Team Coach – Harendra Singh
What to expect from Ranchi Rays
Ranchi Rays (earlier Ranchi Rhinos) have been known for playing the ‘possession hockey game’ quite skillfully, and this has been made possible by combination of talent and experience which can be seen in the midfield of the team. Newly elected skipper and English international Ashley Jackson shall be the key to stability in the midfield for the Ranchi outfit, with support from ex-captain Moritz Furste, Barry Middleton and Manpreet Singh ensuring that the team strategies and maneuvers are effective. The success enjoyed by Ranchi, so far, in the last 2 editions of the HIL has been primarily due to the midfield’s ability to keep possession for long periods of time, and taking the momentum away from the opposition.
Some experts are of the opinion that the forward line of Ranchi looks short of experience, but one can never underestimate the youthful talent which lies in store in the Ranchi Rays attack. The arrival of Australian Trent Mitton is expected to be a handy addition to the team, which has the likes of Nick Wilson and skillful Mandeep Singh to provide further attacking depth. Mandeep Singh, especially, has reason to be positive – He had a stellar performance in the 2013 season, in which he scored 10 goals.
Defending has been solid for Ranchi, in the last two editions, with able defenders like Birendra Lakra and Justin Ross manning the lines of defence.
Ranchi Rays- Squad
Francisco Cortés (Spain) – Goalkeeper
Sushant Tirkey (India) – Goalkeeper
Amit Rohidas (India) – Defender
Birendra Lakra (India) – Defender
Anand Lakra (India) – Defender
Justin Reid-Ross (South Africa) – Defender
Fergus Kavanagh (India) – Defender
Ashley Jackson (England) – Midfielder – Captain
Barry Middleton (England) – Midfielder
Daniel Beale (Australia) – Midfielder
Moritz Fürste (Germany) – Midfielder
Kothajit Singh (India) – Midfielder
Prabhdeep Singh (India) – Midfielder
Manpreet Singh (India) – Midfielder
Ajitesh Roy (India) – Midfielder
Austin Smith (South Africa) –Midfielder
Mandeep Singh (India) – Forward
Parvinder Singh (India) – Forward
Stanli Victor Minz (India) – Forward
Trent Mitton (Australia) – Forward
Ajay Yadav (India) – Forward
Nick Wilson (New Zealand) – Forward
Amon Mirash Tirkey (India) – Forward
Pawan Kumar (India) – Forward