Havant star frozen out

Sandeep Singh. Picture: Paul Jacobs (142915-1)
Sandeep Singh. Picture: Paul Jacobs (142915-1)
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Sandeep Singh’s chance to go out with a bang was scuppered after Havant’s big match against Old Georgians was cancelled on Saturday.

The much-anticipated clash in South League premier division one between second-placed Havant and their third-placed hosts was postponed because of a frozen pitch.

The team and a number of supporters made the 100-mile round trip to Old Georgians only to find the game had been called off, despite other fixtures being fulfilled at the same venue.

Havant chairman Chris Pickett said: ‘I am not pleased with the chain of events that led up to the postponement and have contacted the league about the rearranged date.

‘The slip date is January 10 when we have several players unavailable so I will do everything possible so we do not have to play on that date.

‘The league have said it could be played on Sunday, January 18 if both clubs are in agreement.

‘If Old Georgians don’t agree, I will take the matter further.’

It was an incredibly disappointing and frustrating day for the club, especially given the significance of the encounter.

Havant will now have to play their promotion rivals without top goalscorer Singh, who has gone to play in the Hockey India League.

The professional league is the equivalent of cricket’s Indian Premier League and has five franchised teams consisting of players from India and around the world.

Singh will play for the Jaypee Punjab Warriors and is one of five marquee players signed up for the league, which begins on January 22.

The other four are Indian captain Sardar Singh, Somwarpet Vittalacharya Sunil, Australian Jamie Dwyer – who will also play for the Warriors – and German captain Moritz Furste.

Singh played for Mumbai in the inaugural season of the league in 2013 and was a losing finalist last year.

He scored 11 goals in his first appearance and finished as the top marksman in the competition.

He then repeated that feat a year later with the Warriors and is hoping he can come out on top for the third year running.

He said: ‘I was the top goalscorer in the first and second editions, so let’s see if i can do it again this year.

‘I’m playing for Jaypee Punjab Warriors.

‘We have a lot of Australians, two Argentinians and the Dutch goalkeeper who is one of the best in the world, so we have quite a good team and a good chance of winning it.

‘Last year we lost in the final in a shootout.

‘We were winning 2-1 and we conceded a goal in the last quarter to draw 2-2 and then we lost in the shootout.

‘It was a really good final with big crowds. We had more viewers than the Euro Hockey League.

‘We get more crowds than at an international game. Hockey is really popular in India.

Each team plays 12 matches in a four-week period in venues across India.

‘It’s a very short time, only a month but we have to play 12 matches in that time,’ added Singh.

‘There’s a lot of travelling but the good thing is we always stay in a hotel with the full team and everyone gets to know each other really well.’

Singh will miss Havant’s first six matches of 2015 but will return in time for the crucial home game with Sevenoaks on February 28.