Aussie hockey star Jamie Dwyer feels Hockey India League (HIL) will work wonders for the Indian team, as it will provide the young players the chance to learn and mingle with the very best in the game.
“The Hockey League is going to be tremendous for Indian hockey. The youngsters will get the opportunity to compete with the very best players from around the world,” he said.
Dwyer will be captain of the Punjab Warriors franchise. He feels that it will be a challenge for the players from various countries to come together and perform in the upcoming HIL.
“The biggest challenge for these players of such varied cultures is to try and gel together on and off the pitch. We share mutual respect and admiration for each other and the more we play, the sooner our combination will settle,” said the Aussie skipper.
Dwyer, affectionately named “Jamie Singh” at the team base in Jalandhar, is also confident that the Indian players will not struggle with the Aussie ‘style’ of play.
“The Indian and Australian style is very similar. We, both, have an attacking style of play. Our team has some good strikers and we will look to play to our strengths,” he said.
Olympian Zafar Iqbal, the team adviser, feels that the absence of an Indian coach is not an issue and the presence of an Australian coach is beneficial not just for the young players but also for Indian support staff in the teams.
“We have 6-7 youngsters in the team. They have already worked under Indian coaches. Now they have the opportunity to learn and fine-tune their skills under the watchful eyes of the Aussie. Our Indian support staff will also get to learn a lot from them,” he said.