Prime Volleyball League Auction: Hyderabad tries a different strategy

Ahmedabad Defenders, Hyderabad Black Hawks and Bengaluru Torpedoes – did not pick a single player from the platinum category, instead waited with a Rs 45 lakh purse for the gold, silver and bronze categories where promising players were available cheaper

Abhishek Reddy, the Hyderabad Black Hawks team owner in the Prime Volleyball League, in Kochi on Tuesday for the players' auction.   -  H. VIBHU

The bidding was hot and fast at the Prime Volleyball League's player auction here on Tuesday. And one player even had four teams going for him at the highest rate.

But after the eight-player platinum category, which had the top Indian names, was gone through, home team Kochi Blue Spikers had spent the most (Rs. 25.75 lakh) and had the least amount (Rs. 19.25 lakh) to buy its remaining 10 players.

But three teams – Ahmedabad Defenders, Hyderabad Black Hawks and Bengaluru Torpedoes – did not pick a single player from the platinum category. They did not spend a single penny there and instead waited with a Rs 45 lakh purse for the gold, silver and bronze categories where promising players were available cheaper.

And one of them, Hyderabad owner Abhishek Reddy, had a different kind of strategy too.

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“What we did was, instead of going for local coaches... and most of them don't have the experience of running a league, we decided to go out and scout for a coach with 20 to 25 years' experience.

And we found Ruben Wolochin from Argentina, who has coached five Olympic players, who will be our head coach,” Abhishek, who also owns teams in badminton, boxing and golf leagues, told Sportstar here on Tuesday.

“He coaches teams in Hungary, Germany, Denmark and Spain. What we felt is, we needed professionalism in the league, we are just in year two of the league but if you look at European countries like Germany and Italy they have been doing it for 30 to 40 years. There is a lot to learn from that.”

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Incidentally, Wolochin will be the only foreign coach in the PVL, which will be held in Kochi early next year.

“We do have another arrangement with him. He is also looking at picking up some of the Indian players and putting them in leagues in Europe,” revealed Abhishek.

But don't Indian coaches know Indian players better?

“He has been seeing a lot of videos (of Indian players), he's a thorough professional. And he was actively involved in the player selection, we have been having late-night calls, and he has been on the phone helping us out. He will be joining us in a month.”

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