New Delhi: On cloud nine after being fetched by Ranchi Rhinos, young defender Amit Rohidas on Saturday said it`s a dream come true for him to be a part of the Hockey India League (HIL) and he is looking forward to rub shoulders with leading international players within ten days.
Rohidas, who has already made his mark at the junior international level and is now dribbling his way into the senior internationals, was bought by Ranchi Rhinos at a price of USD 29,000, five times more than his Base Price of USD 5,600 at the HIL Players` Auction.
"It`s the best thing that has happened in my life till now. Seeing some interest (of franchisees) in me during the Players` Auction and getting a huge opportunity to play with top international players are really very special to me," said the 19-year-old defender from Sundargarh district of Odisha.
Rohidas will be playing with legendary players such as Moritz Fuertse (Germany), Ashley Jackson (England), Austin Smith (South Africa), Floris Evers (The Netherlands) and Francisco Cortes (Spain).
India`s stars such as Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra and K Kothajit Singh will be accompanying this defender in the upcoming League, which will start from 14 January.
"Playing with these top players will surely improve my game and technique. Hero Hockey India League is the best thing happened with Indian hockey and players. It is a huge opportunity for us," Amit said in an interview.
Rohidas is also very encouraged due the presence of South African coach Gregg Clarke in the team and said: "I will learn some new skills from Clarke sir and am very hopeful that my game will improve under him."
Rohidas started playing hockey in his Saunamura village with local boys. Hockey is very popular in this village and the nearby areas as famous international player Dilip Tirkey hails from this village.
In 2004, he joined Panposh Sports Hostel in Rourkela where he transformed from a boy to a hockey player. He represented the Hostel in many district and state-level tournaments, and still plays for the Hostel.
He joined the junior national team in 2009 and represented India in the Under-18 Junior Asia Cup Hockey, held in Myanmar.
Rohidas was part of the team, which finished in third position in the 2012 Under-21 Junior Asia Cup Hockey in Malaysia. He also played in the 2011 Sultan of Johor Cup and in 2012, his team finished as Runners-up.
Rohidas also played in two Hockey India Senior Men’s National Championship in 2011 Bhopal and 2012 Bangalore.
Rohidas`s favourite player is Dilip Tirkey and believes he plays like him.
"I play at the same position and tackle like him. Like other boys in my village, I idolise him and I want to become a masterful player like Dilip Tirkey," he stated.