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Hockey: Rupinder Pal Singh to lead Delhi Waveriders in HIL 2017

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Delhi Waveriders on Thursday named seasoned drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh as captain for the upcoming fifth edition of the Hockey India League (HIL), starting January 21.

New Zealand's Simon Child will be Rupinder's deputy in the Cedric D'Souza-coached franchise, which includes some new faces in Austin Smith (South Africa), Manuel Brunet (Argentina), Vincent Vanasch (Belgium) and India's Vikas Dahiya, Mandip Antil and Pardeep Singh.

Rupinder, who was part of the 2014 Asian Games gold medal-winning Indian team, will lead a young squad that is all set to pump up the excitement on the ground and would put all their efforts and enthusiasm in making it to the knockout stage.

The team includes two promising players from Indian hockey, including 21-year-old Harjeet Singh -- captain of India's junior hockey national team, and 19-year-old Mandeep Singh, who emerged as the rare gem that India unearthed during the World Hockey League 2014.

New international faces include Argentina's Manuel, who was part of the 2016 Rio Olympics gold winning team. Austin competed for South Africa at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, the 2010 and 2014 Hockey World Cups, and at the 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Vincent is a Belgian international field hockey goalkeeper, who represented his national side at the 2012 London Olympics.

Commenting on the new-look side, coach D'Souza said: "With some of the players from last year's team unavailable, we have done our best to fill the gaps with top quality players."

"Training has gone on really well and we definitely are a well-rounded and balanced team. Needless to say, we will do our best to continue and maintain our past record of a podium finish with, of course, the target being the top place. We can expect some high-octane action in the 2017 Hockey India League." he added.

Delhi Waveriders Squad: Rupinder Pal Singh (Captain), Talwinder Singh, Mandeep Antil, Surender Kumar, Pardeep Singh, Mandeep Singh, Vikram Kanth, Parvinder Singh, Vikas Dahiya, Santa Singh, Prabhdeep Singh, Harjeet Singh, Simon Child (Vice-Captain), Tristan White, Manuel Brunet, Iain Wallace Lewers, Benjamin Stanzl, Vanasch Vincent Francois Bernard, Justin Neil Reid - Ross, Austin Charles Smith.