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Nitesh the right man to lead U.P. Yoddha, insists coach Arjun Singh

Sports Lounge Staff



L-R: U.P. Yoddha players Aashish Nagar, Ashu Singh, assistant coach Arjun Singh, Arijeet Talapatra (CEO, Transsion India), Vinod Bisht (VP, GMR Legue Games), captain Nitesh Kumar and star raider Rishank Devadiga unveil the team's new jersey in New Delhi on Tuesday.

New Delhi: With Pro Kabaddi Season VII set to begin in three days’ time, the GMR backed-U.P. Yoddha team not only unveiled their new jersey but also announced young Nitesh Kumar as their captain. Nitesh was the first defender to pocket 100 tackle points in a single season last year and assistant coach Arjun Singh believes the 20-year-old is the right man to lead the team.

“He was the best defender in the last three seasons and has the ability to inspire the team with his own performance. It’s not about him young and inexperienced, its about being energetic and willing to take up responsibility. He is someone who backs his words with performance and is quite liked by Yoddha team members. I am sure that he will take U.P. Yoddha to the title this time,” Singh told reporters during an event to announce U.P. Yoddha’s partnership with mobile phone brand Itel.

Talking about the team’s expectations, Singh said with accomplished raiders like Rishank Devadiga and last season’s highest-paid player Monu Goyat in their ranks, U.P. Yoddha will go for the title.

“We made the playoffs in two seasons of our existence, which is huge. Looking at how the boys have prepared for the upcoming season, we conducted a month-long camp, I am sure we will lift the title this time,” Singh added.

Singh’s words were echoed by Vinod Bisht, vice-president, GMR League Games. “Kabaddi is our indigenous game in the same way as MLB and NFL in USA. This is our third season in Pro Kabaddi. Nitesh comes from rural area in Uttar Pradesh and is the right candidate to lead the team. With his tackling skills in the first two seasons fro us, he captured our imagination and will most likely become the nation’s favourite the way he is playing. I wish him all the best,” Bisht said.

Under the able guidance of head coach Jasveer Singh, the Yoddha team comprises of Raiders: Ankush, Azad Singh, Gulveen Singh, Md. Masud Karim, Monu Goyat, Rishank Devadiga, Srikant Jadhav, Surender Singh; Defenders: Aashish Nagar, Amit Narwal, Arkam Saikh, Nitesh Kumar; and All-rounders: Gurdeep, Mohsen Maghsoudloujafari, Narender, Sachin Kumar.

The team plays their first Pro Kabaddi match against Bengal Warriors on July 24 in Hyderabad.

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