PKL 2021: Tamil Thalaivas captain Surjeet believes the team has no specific weakness
Coach J Udayakumar is confident of turning things around and said the young team would not disappoint fans this season.
The Tamil Thalaivas haven't had a great time in the three seasons of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) they have been part so far. But, coach J Udayakumar is confident of turning things around and said the young team would not disappoint fans this time.
The Chennai-based PKL franchise opted for an overhaul and picked a number of young players in the auction ahead of the eighth season of the league, which the coach said was done after a lot of thought.
"We have picked young players after a lot of thought. We have trained the players and put in a lot of effort. We have also devised new plans. This team won't disappoint the fans," he told PTI in an interaction.
Tamil Thalaivas signed up ace defender PO Surjeet Singh, the captain, for Rs 75 lakh and chose a squad filled with youngsters for PKL-8. Udayakumar said the Covid-19 situation made things very difficult for kabaddi players, adding that the Thalaivas team was picked keeping in mind factors like fitness and stamina required for a short season.
"We wanted to pick strong, fit players as the season was short and there was a need for players to have strength and stamina. So, we opted for younger players. We looked to pick talent from every nook and corner of the country." he added.
The Thalaivas coach said it was very difficult for the players during the coronavirus-induced lockdown and added that every possible effort was made to ensure that they (players) felt comfortable in the bio-bubble.
"It is very difficult during the Covidtime and for players to be in bubbles. We made sure that the players were kept motivated and enjoyed themselves," Udayakumar said. He said it was a challenge for him as a coach and added that he was ready for it.
Meanwhile, the team's captain PO Surjeet Singh said the players were well prepared and would put up a good show in the new season that gets underway on December 22 in Bengaluru.
"We are all excited and well prepared for the season. Apart from young players, we have experienced ones too and there are no weaknesses.. Surjeet, who has moved from Puneri Paltan to the Chennai-based side, said he had no issues in settling down in the team and was ready to give his best. He listed players like the experienced K Prapanjan and Manjeet, both raiders, who would be ones to watch out for.
The eighth season of PKL would be telecast live on the Star Sports network and Disney+Hotstar.