OLYMPIC bronze medallist, Glenn Turner is preparing for another busy year both on the international hockey scene and on the home front. Though this is not an Olympic or Commonwealth year there is plenty of hockey to be played and other important things happening in his life.
His home season starts with the Indoor Hockey Championships in Canberra from this Saturday through to January 8.
“I am expected in India by January 9 for the Hockey India League five side competition,” Turner said.
“I will be cutting it fine, otherwise I might have to miss the finals of the National Championships.”
Turner is one of fifteen Australian hockey players selected for the newly formed Hockey India League (HIL) which starts on January 16.
The HIL is made up of five franchises with each squad comprising 10 overseas players and 14 Indian players.
There are nine players from each the Netherlands and Pakistan making up the three largest international contingents in this competition.
Turner is playing for the Mumbai Magicians, which will be coached by Australian coach Ric Charlesworth, assisted by the Kookaburras assistant coach Graham Reid.
Charlesworth has selected three other Australians in his team, defenders Joel Carroll (NT) and Matt Swann (Qld), along with midfielder Matthew Butturini (NSW). Turner will be in the striker position for this competition. Key Indian players in the team include number one goal keeper PJ Sreejest and their top drag flicker Sandeep Singh.
The other four teams in the HIL are Delhi Wave Riders, Jaypee Punjab Warriors coached by 2004 Kookaburras Olympic gold medal winning coach, Barry Dancer, Ranchi Rhinos and the Uttar Pradesh Wizards.
“The aim of the HIL is to revitalise interest in hockey in India which has slumped over the past decade, but is on its way back due to the television coverage of the competition last January and the Olympics,” Turner said.
“The interest is certainly picking up and there has been a lot of precompetition enthusiasm for the HIL since the announcement of the international players joining with local stars in the televised series.” Turner who is used to cutting things fine, will be hoping that everything runs to schedule at home during this venture into professional hockey. He and his long time partner and fiancé Bec Ginn are expecting a baby on February 16.
“I am really hoping that our baby doesn’t decide to come early,” he said. “The HIL is due to finish on February 10, so if everything goes to plan I will be home in time.”
Turner will be on leave until March and is anticipating playing in the ACT Hockey competition. Though there are some international matches earlier in the year he is not expecting any Kookaburra duties till June or July.
“Other than that, its work with Goulburn Mulwaree Council, who have been really supportive,” he concluded.