Foreign players may be the biggest week point

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Bangalore, Dec 17 (UNI) Delay in selection of foreign players will hamper performance of the team in the Premier Hockey League (PHL) beginning at Chandigarh from December 20, Bangalore Hi-fliers Coach Ashish Balal said today.

In an interaction with the media, he said ''the boys have geared up well and the weakest point may be delay in selection of foreign players. We don't know who will be included in which team, otherwise the teams' preparation was good and geared up for all out victory.'' However, Karnataka State Hockey Association (KSHA) General Secretary, Kannan Krishnamurthy, who is also Manager of the team said the delay was mainly due to confirmation awaited from foreign players who were busy with international events.

When asked whether the duration of training which was only one week was very short, Olympian Ashish Balal said ''the team, in which most of the players are in the National squad, had attended a camp at the Sports Authority of India, (SAI) Southern Centre in preparation for Olympic Qualifiers after the resounding victory in the Asian Cup.

Expressing disappointment over the team's performance in the last edition of PHL in which the Bangalore Hi-fliers finished third, Balal said this time ''the team is very focused and the ambition of each player was to win and wipeout last year's disappointing performance.'' ''We want to repeat the result of 2006 in which we won the title'', he added.

He said regarding the foreign players, Bangalore Hi-Fliers has asked for a mid-fielder, a forward and an attacker.

Replying to a question about the cold weather in Chandigarh, he said '' the boys have played in European countries and since they are professionals, the weather may not affect their performance in the field''.

Allocation of foreign players, three in each of the seven teams may take place through a draw tomorrow.


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