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Air India overdose and Barry Dancer for JPW (12/15/2012)
--K. Arumugam
Air India overdose in, and Barry Dancer for, Jaypee Punjab Warrior team in HIL

When the Jaypee Punjab Warrior team management lines up, if some mistake it for the domestic giant Air India hockey team, they cannot be faulted. For, familiar former heroes of Indian Airlines, now merged and known as Air India, form the bulk of the staff of the team in the forthcoming Hockey India League.

Zafar Iqbal,who is General Manager with Air India, is the advisor of the new team while his junior colleagues in the same department, Jagbir Singh and Md.Riaz as coaches. Jagbir Singh will also double up as Manager. Incidentally, all these three Air India stars are Arjuna award winners, which make the coaching staff a colourful one.

All these stalwart will have in Australian Barry Dancer, who coached 2008 Olympic team, as the head coach.

Zafar Iqbal was the star left winger of the Indian Airlines team in the 80s, while Jagbir as the centre-forward shone in the early 90s, while in the mid and late 90s Md. Riaz fitted perfectly into the centre-half and inside-right positions.

The Jaypee Group, which has held two highly successful F1 races at their Buddh International Circuit, has taken Punjab franchise to promote hockey in India, and provide a platform to young Indian players to train to excel at international level. They have taken t Barry Dancer, former Australian player and national coach for many years, as Head Coach, Zafar Iqbal, former Indian Hockey captain and coach, as Adviser, Jagbir Singh, former Indian Captain and Coach, as Coach and Manager, and Mohammad Riaz, former Indian player and current Asst Coach of Indian national hockey team, as another coach.

"We have put together a highly competent coaching team, and are confident that we will be able to raise a highly competitive team of young and experienced players. We have taken the first step to promote hockey in India by participating in the league, and will continue to provide best training and coaching facilities to young Indian players so that they can play at international level and bring India back at top of the world hockey again," said Mr Manoj Gaur, Chairman of Jaypee Group.

Brief Profile of Punjab Warrior team coaches

Barry Dancer – Head Coach
Barry Dancer was Head Coach of Australian and Great Britain’s men hockey team for close to a decade and is currently working as the High Performance Director at Queensland Academy of Sport in Australia. Under his guidance, the Australian men’s hockey team won the 2008 & 2005 Champions trophy and Gold medal in 2006 & 2002 Commonwealth Games. He will now be the Head Coach of the Jaypee Punjab Warriors team in the Hockey India League.

Zafar Iqbal – Advisor
Former India hockey star and Arjuna Awardee Zafar Iqbal was a member of the 1980 Summer Olympics field hockey team that won the last Olympic Gold Medal for India. He has captained Indian squad in various international events, among them being Asian Games, in 1982, 1983 Champions Trophy, and the 1984 Summer Olympics. He has also served as Chief National Coach and national selector for the Indian men’s hockey team.

Jagbir Singh – Coach
Former India Captain and striker Jagbir Singh was a member of the Indian men’s hockey team from 1985-95 and represented the country in all the major competitions like Olympic Games, World Cup, Asian Games, Asia Cup, Champions trophy etc. He also has the honor of being selected from India to represent the all star Asia XI, World XI and is one of the very few Indian players to play for the premier Club HTC Stuttgart Kickers in the German Hockey League from 1992-97. In 2004, he was assistant coach of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Champions Trophy, India-Pak Test Series, India-France Test Series and India-Spain Series etc.

Mohammad Riaz – Coach
Former Indian hockey team captain, Mohd Riaz has been Indian national hockey team’s coach for the last two years. He was worked as Assistant coach for the 2012 London Olympic games and 2012 Champions Trophy. Riaz is recipient of several sports awards, including 1998 Arjuna Award.

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