Out of the six teams participating in the Hockey India League, there is one that has the most potential. Uttar Pradesh Wizards have probably the best line-up of the Hockey India League. However, they somehow have not managed to fulfill all the expectations of their fans. In the previous editions of the HIL, the wizards failed to cast a magic spell.
In the inaugural HIL, the Wizards finished at the third place. In 2014, their performance degraded and the Uttar Pradesh Wizards finished at the fourth position.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards Dream Big In Season 3
As the team gets into the third season, the dreams are definitely of improving. Laying hands on the winner’s trophy is not something that Uttar Pradesh Wizards are incapable of. However, UP Wizards’ Marquee player Teun de Nooijer is not with the team anymore. He has left big shoes to be filled. It needs to be seen how well the Uttar Pradesh Wizards can play without the Dutch Olympic champion.
In the goal, the Uttar Pradesh Wizards have PR Sreejesh, a wall in front of goal. Uttar Pradesh’s captain VR Raghunath is another solid performer on the field. The greatest news for the team is that Raghunath looks in good form. When this man is in good form, goals rain from his stick. The Uttar Pradesh Wizards are coached by Roelant Oltmans, who is also serving as the interim coach for the Indian national team.
BOB DE VOOGD, SUMIT, SHEA JOSEPH MCALEESE, JASJIT SINGH KULAR, HARMANPREET SINGH BAL, NIKKIN THIMMAIAH CHANDANDA, RAMANDEEP SINGH, HARBIR SINGH ,M.GUNASEKAR, NITHIN THIMMAIAH, SK UTHAPPA, PARDEEP MOR, TUSHAR KHANDKER, HARJEET SINGH, P.R.SREEJESH, KUMAR SUBRAMANIAM, VR RAGHUNATH (captain), GEORGE BAZELEY, SANDER BAART, JEROEN HERTZBERGER, MARCEL BALKESTEIN, JOLIE WOUTER, EDDIE OCKENDEN, DAVID ALEGRE.
Coach: ROELANT OLTMANS
Results So Far
The Wizards have played two games already in the third season. The first match against Delhi Waveriders was a draw. Regardless of the shared points, the Uttar Pradesh Wizards gave Delhi a run for their money. Ramandeep Singh saved the team from defeat mouth by equalizing in the fourth quarter.
The next match turned out to be a disaster. Punjab came visiting at the Uttar Pradesh Wizards’ home ground in Lucknow. When the final whistle blew Punjab walked away with full points. Even though Uttar Pradesh Wizards dominated for most of the match, they failed to make most of opportunities.
To make progress in the Hockey India League, Uttar Pradesh Wizards will have to make the most of their opportunities. Converting possession into goals is the key. With many quality players in the team, Uttar Pradesh Wizards should have a great season.