New Delhi [India], Jan.17 : Ahead of his arrival in India, Argentina's Gonazalo Peillat has emphasized on the benefits of playing in a professional league such as the Hockey India League (HIL).
"For Argentinian players it is really important because it is the only way to get financial benefits and it inspires players to be more professional," expressed the dragflick expert who was part of the Rio Olympics Gold medal winning team.
The Argentinian defender will be seen playing for the Uttar Pradesh Wizards alongside the likes of VR Raghunath, PR Sreejesh, Akashdeep Singh, Ramandeep Singh, Sander Baart from Netherlands and Rio Olympics Silver medal winning team's Arthur van Doren from Belgium, amongst other players.
Gonzalo further emphasized that it's not always about the monetary gains that the HIL offers but it's also a great platform to learn different tactics adopted by different foreign players.
"I was 21 when I played my first Coal India HIL. Every player comes with different ideas and tactics to play. It can be challenging for a Coach to make a team in a short time but as a player we also adapt to these changes in a short span and that I feel is the beauty of the tournament.
Personally, for me, I could learn a lot at a young age from the Coal India HIL which I believe has contributed to my game as I feel I am more matured player today.
I really like the format of the Coal India HIL and I wish play it for the rest of my career," Gonzalo stated.
"I like to play with different top international players and learn which tactics they might use to be better or beat the opponents," he added.
At this year's HIL, Gonzalo is looking forward to play alongside Australia's Edward Ockenden and his own teammate Agustin Mazzilli.
He says, "I'm looking forward to play with Eddie Ockenden, I think he is a great player. I also would like to play with Agustin Mazzilli because I know him a lot from the Argentina national team and he is a good friend of mine.
I would also like to play and learn from Australia's Mark Knowles (with Jaypee Punjab Warriors) someday.
I love how he plays and I watch his game closely." Speaking about his preparations for this year's league, Gonzalo said that his emphasis is always about being fit.
"In my whole career, I like to be fit and healthy before the big tournament. I have been running and going to the gym three times a week. This is an important tournament for me and I feel confident of putting up a great show this year. We have new players in our team and for sure we are going to do a better job than last season," he signed off.
The Uttar Pradesh Wizards will play their first match of HIL against Dabang Mumbai on January 24 at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium in Mumbai.