PUNE: Puneri Paltan captain Deepak Hooda has very high regards for the team CEO Kailash Kandpal. Hooda describes him as the big brother to Puneri Paltan and also the biggest source of motivation.
“As a CEO I have to see how things are building around the team. How I can increase fan base and plan marketing strategies at the same time whenever I visit the team during practice sessions, I just tell them ‘Gheun Tak’. This phrase motivates my team,” Kandpal told Sakal Times in an interview.
Kandpal is with Puneri Paltan since its inception in 2014, firstly he was the team director for two seasons and then he was elevated as the CEO.
“We tried to build the team around Deepak for Season 5 and as the league is lengthy we needed players who should be able to play both the roles—raider and defender—that’s why we took more all-rounders in auction.
Kailash also gave credit to Manjeet Chhillar - former captain of Puneri Paltan, who helped the team to reach No 3 position in previous two seasons.
“Manjeet got us the credibility and from No 8 he brought us to No 3. Butwe chose our captain with whom we can build a squad for around next 5 years.”
“From here onwards, our focus will be on maintaining consistency and push for No 1 position,” added Kandpal.
Ashok Shinde, who was the coach in the last season will be seen in the role of a mentor now, while BC Ramesh has joined as coach.
“Stalwart like Ashok Shinde - mentor of Puneri Paltan play a very important role especially when the league is so lengthy. We always need one senior’s person to talk with players and coach. Many times coach also goes in the shell so at that time Ashok can step in.”
Puneri Paltan has three players from Maharashtra for Season 5. In previous seasons there were the only couple of players who could make it.
“Girish Ernak, Umesh Mhatre and Akshay Jadhav all have shown a glimpse of talent wherever they have played,” Kandpal said.