No ill-feeling after HIL auction, players told to concentrate on Rio games

first_imgDifferent price tags for players can have an adverse impact on morale of a team if not dealt properly. Bidding over a player at an auction often has very little to do with his quality or track record, and may follow a dynamic of its own.Following the recent Hockey India League (HIL) auction, the team management of the national side got the players together to ensure there was no ill-feeling about the different amounts various players went for.”Immediately after the auction, we spoke to the players and made sure everyone was on the same page and understood exactly the needs of the team,” head coach Roelant Oltmans said on Tuesday.”We accept that auctions can be unpredictable. Players that are not even at the national camp can get a big price. That is not a problem. It is good that players are getting good money.”Skipper Sardar Singh, the posterboy of the national team, went for a relatively low price of $58,000 to the Jaypee Punjab Warriors at the recent auction, while a number of his teammates, most of them a lot junior to him, were acquired for much bigger amounts.The development is all the more head-turning as Sardar had gone for $78,000 to the Delhi Waveriders in the inaugural HIL acctions.Sardar is the first to admit that he has not been at his influential best in recent times.”Getting a lower bid at the auction was a bit disappointing, but one must realise that the HIL is a platform for the youngsters to play with the best in the world,” he said.advertisement”As far as I am concerned, form goes up and down over the course of one’s career. I know my performance over the last two years has not been so good. But with the Olympics coming up, I am trying to raise my level once again.”Oltmans said that he has had a good chat with his midfield general about his game. “I sat Sardar down and asked him about the best period in his career. It was not the last few months. But he is getting better and not much off his top level,” the Dutchman said.Rule changes also have had a lot to do with the price at which various players were bought. With field goals worth two, forwards were in big demand. Akashdeep Singh was the most expensive Indian player, going for $84,000 to the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.”At the last auction, I had received a very low amount ($16,000), and wanted to go for a bigger sum this time,” Akashdeep told Mail Today. “The rule change definitely worked in my favour.”NZ tour confirmedThe Indian men’s team has a busy schedule as it prepares for next year’s Rio Olympics, with a Test series in New Zealand being the latest addition.The team will play two matches against New Zealand ‘A’ and four against its senior national side from October 2-11. With the Black Sticks needing to win the upcoming Oceania Cup to qualify for the Olympics, the matches are expected to be hard-fought and competitive.The tour will be followed by a series at home against world champions Australia, which will also serve as preparation for the Hockey World League Finals in Raipur from November 27-December 6.After a short break, the players will get busy representing their respective franchises at the Hockey India League.The schedule after that has not been finalised, but head coach Roelant Oltmans is busy lining up tours to Europe and Argentina, which is next door to Brazil.- By Tushar Bhadurilast_img

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