Updated News Around the World

Odisha hockey league may come up before the return of Hockey India League | Hockey News – Times of India

ROURKELA: Hockey India and International Hockey Federation (FIH) have lately often had Hockey India League (HIL) on the discussion table. The HIL, which is considered the reason behind the quality of India’s supply chain and resultant success at the 2016 Junior Men’s World Cup and the Tokyo Olympics, has been on the backburner after 2017. The endeavour now is first to revive the interest of past & new investors and find a window for HIL that allows availability of international stars without compromising the Pro League fixtures. But Odisha might once again be a step ahead.
David John, the former High Performance Director of Hockey India, was roped in as the Odisha Director of Hockey by the state government in April 2022. He now heads the sport’s development in the region, and a hockey league in the region is at the heart of the Australian’s plans.
Not based on the franchise-model like the HIL or having an international appeal, still John’s idea is not something the country is used to — a club culture. The idea is to improve the quality of match-ready players in the region who can go on to represent India.
“My goal is to have a strong club competition in this area,” said John, who walked into the State Sports Hostel in Panposh, as the girls finished their training session under BJ Cariappa, who has been deputed here as coach since the last two months.

“India doesn’t have a strong club system. The problem (domestic) Indian players have is they don’t play enough matches, competitive matches. They have to wait until nationals or Khelo India as such.”
Cariappa played the translator as John addressed the girls and boys stationed in the hostel that was established in 1985.
His 15-minute chat was both reassurance and challenge. Challenge because the weeding-out process at the hostel has been delayed because of Covid and non-performers could soon be sieved from the rest. And reassurance because of probably what John knew the kids would say when the floor was opened to them for questions and suggestions.
Rs 500 is what the kids at the hostel get as stipend. They are not happy with it. Sitting on the pitch, responding to John in a hushed tone, all of them said it wasn’t enough. On a fair note, their kits, food, lodging and academics are taken care of by the state-run hostel. They even complained about not having a physiotherapist or a physiotherapy room at the hostel.

Davis John-2

That, said John, will be addressed soon with a physiotherapist stationed at the hostel after the World Cup and the trainees shifting base to the new state-of-the-art Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium, except the beginners.
He didn’t comment on the stipend part but added that once the planned league becomes stronger, and as a result the clubs, then the kids may be paid to play for their clubs.
“There are 24 new turfs…most of them are in the Sundargarh area, 19 I think, excluding the two here in Panposh. Each turf will become a club in itself. These players will be released on weekends to actually go back and play for their clubs because every strong country in the world has a strong club system,” said John.
“So it can give us 18 teams and we can have home-and-away series over 17 weeks plus the finals. I would be inviting, as a club, players from other states to come and join. Jharkhand is close, Bihar is not far. Over the next 3 to 5 years, it will become an Odisha hockey league, a strong club competition. If the clubs become strong like they do in other countries, then they (players) can be paid to play for their club,” he explained.
“So effectively from September to March, we will have home-and-away club competitions for sub-junior, junior and senior age-groups every weekend.”
John’s plan sounds like a grassroot revolution in Indian hockey. But the success of this will depend on honest execution.

For all the latest Sports News Click Here 

 For the latest news and updates, follow us on Google News

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! NewsUpdate is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.