Veteran New Zealand midfielder Ryan Archibald is looking forward to a stint in the Hero Hockey India League after being picked up by the Kalinga Lancers over the weekend.
Archibald, who has 274 international caps, last appeared for the Black Sticks at the 2012 London Olympics. This year he has played club hockey and also for national champions Auckland in the Ford National Hockey League.
The 33-year-old fetched the second highest bid in this year’s Hockey India League player auction, offered more than NZ$86,000 for the six week tournament.
Archibald said he was confident he would be picked up in the auction but after setting his reserve price at NZ$30,000, was surprised the bids went so high.
“I was pretty sure I’d get picked up bit it was a bit unknown in terms of the dollar amount. It’s definitely higher than expected but I’m pretty happy with it that’s for sure,” he said.
“I spoke to some of the guys from last year like Simon Child, Dean Couzins and Andy Hayward, who really enjoyed their experience so it’ll be a good chance to have a different experience.
“I’ve been playing plenty of hockey still so there are no issues about performing over there, I’m just looking forward to having some fun.”
North Harbour’s Steve Edwards was the only other New Zealander picked up in this year’s auction, snapped up by the Delhi Wave Riders for NZ$30,000.
Archibald and Edwards join fellow Kiwis Simon Child (Delhi Wave Riders) and Nick Wilson (Ranchi Rhinos) who are still signed to multi-year deals after being picked in the inaugural Hockey India League auction.
It was also announced this morning that Hockey New Zealand Umpire Development Manager Craig Gribble has been appointed as Umpires Manager.
Gribble has umpired and officiated at the Commonwealth Games 2010, two Champions Trophy tournaments in 2011 and 2012, two Olympic qualification tournaments and the London Olympic Games in 2012 and FIH World League Semi-Finals in Rotterdam 2013.
“I am looking forward to being part of the Hero Hockey India League where I can work with the appointed umpire and officiating panels and also help to develop the local Indian umpires,” Gribble said.
“It will be a wonderful opportunity for the umpire group to develop and apply their craft to such an exciting brand of hockey.”
More information about the player auction for the Hero Hockey India League can be found by clicking here.
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