New Delhi: Ace German striker Moritz Fuerste had never expected to become the costliest player of Hockey India League (HIL) and the star playmaker, who was sold for USD 105000, is more than excited to be a part of the Kalinga Lancers squad.
The midfielder had a base price of USD 30,000 and at one point Delhi Waveriders and Uttar Pradesh Wizards were leading the race in securing the two-time Olympic champion during the auction held here earlier in the week. However, the Lancers entered the race much later, when the bid was in USD 90,000, to steal Fuerste for the highest price.
"I never expected anything like that. I am more than excited and I am very happy to play for Kalinga Lancers," Fuerste told PTI Bhasha in an email interview when asked about if he was expecting such a whopping amount.
"It seems that Kalinga Lancers are a very professional franchise. Dilip Tirkey (mentor) is a key figure and also Mark Hager is a great coach. And I already worked with team manager David John so it looks like a great set up," he said about his new team.
Two-time Olympian Fuerste is also excited about the new HIL rule of counting one field goal as two and believes that it will put more emphasis on strikers as well as defenders.
"Obviously that makes strikers even more important. On the other hand you can argue that it also is more important to defend your goal better than before. Anyway I like that idea.
It should bring some spice into the game," he said.
He also feels that not only Indian players but foreign players are also benefitting from HIL.
"It is not just young Indian players who get chance to play with the best players in the world but it is also beneficial for overseas players. It is not only because of the money, but also skillwise as it has widened our personal horizon. And the hockey is also not that bad at all."
When asked about Indian team s chances in Rio Olympics he said that India will fight for last four. "I think India will fight for semi finals in Rio.
"India has got some fantastic players like Manpreet Singh , Birendra Lakra, Akashdeep Singh, Mandeep Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh to name a few. Manpreet is a great team player, which is something Indian players are not world famous for.
Biru (Lakra) is a very talented player and so calm on the ball. Strikers like Akashdeep and Mandeep are also impressive, especially in the circle. And Rupinder Pal Singh is still one of the best defenders in the world. I enjoy watching those guys play," he added.
Apart from hockey, he loves coming to India for the food and enthusiasm of the people.
Currently busy in preparation for World Hockey league finals to be held in Raipur in December, Fuerste is hopeful of a good show by Germany.
"We had a bad day in the European final. But that won t bother us any further. We are back on track now and looking forward to the WL Final," added the striker.