Nitin Tomar has expressed his happiness after being picked up by Puneri Paltan ahead of the seventh season of the Pro Kabaddi League. Star raider Tomar has said that he was delighted with the auction price and very happy seeing the faith of the Paltan in him at the auction table earlier this month.
After playing for UP Yoddha in 2017, Nitin Tomar was bagged by Puneri Paltan for the sixth season of the league last year. However, after a disappointing show as a team in the previous season, Paltan decided to release all their players ahead of the auctions for season 7. But, Tomar was again bought by the Pune-based franchise for a whopping Rs. 1.20 crore at the auction, which is the second biggest price after Telugu Titans’ raider Siddharth Desai who went for 1.45 crore rupees this year.
Speaking exclusively to SportsCafe, Tomar sounded ecstatic and was of the opinion that the price that has been spent by the franchise proves how good he has been in the league.
“I am very happy with the auction price. It proves that the performance has been good and that is why the players are getting such a high price. This proves that the players who do well during the matches and perform consistently get rewards during the auction and win accolades as well,” Tomar told SportsCafe over the phone.
“I am really happy that Puneri Paltan kept faith in me and got me back in the team again. I was injured and missed a few of the games last year. I will try to be fit in the entire season this time and take the team to the title.”
After starting off on a terrific note in the sixth season, Tomar had to sit out because of a knee injury. He played only 11 matches and scored 100 raid points finishing at the 17th place on the top raider’s list. Now, after recovering from that Tomar played for Services in the Senior Nationals and also featured in the departmental tournaments before the auctions.
“I have recovered well after the injury, I played the nationals and departmental tournaments after that. Now I am totally fit for the next season, explained the 23-year-old raider.
The Paltan will be coached by Captain Cool Anup Kumar this season and with a top-class raider at the helm, it would be beneficial for the raiding department, which will be led by Tomar again this year. Anup hung his boots last season and has taken up the rope of the coach replacing Ashan Kumar Sangwan just ahead of the auctions.
Speaking about the impact Anup will have on the team and him, Tomar said, “He has been a great player and I have played under his captaincy before as well in the 2016 World Cup. He makes a good plan and was a great raider in his playing days. I am looking forward to playing under his guidance and learn whatever I can from him this time.”
Puneri Paltan was heavily dependent on Tomar last season in the raiding department as GB More, Rajesh Mondal, and other raiders weren’t that effective for the team. Their performance had a downward graph as well after Tomar was ruled out due to injury in 2018. However, with some young raiders the side is looking good with the support system of Tomar this season. Pune have brought in players like Manjeet, Pawan Kadian and Darshan Kadian who were decent in their raids whenever they had a chance for their respective teams last year.
Tomar is happy with the support that he has got in the raiding department for the seventh season with the young blood to complement him.
“There is a very good raiding unit this year. We have good supporting raiders this time around. Pawan, Darshan and Manjeet in the team make sure that there is good support in the raiding unit this time for Puneri Paltan,” the star raider said.
Apart from Tomar, the Paltan will also have the services of their last year’s captain Girish Ernak in season 7. The two of them, being the senior members in the squad, will have to handle the responsibility on their shoulders. Tomar also stated about the discussions between the senior players during the game or in the time-outs.
“There are a lot of experienced players and there are young players. There will be a responsibility on the senior players and if they take those responsibilities in a proper manner we can become champions. Senior players discuss among themselves regarding any mistakes committed during a match. We talk about the issues during the timeout as well,” Tomar mentioned.
“The combination from last year will be there to some extent this year. Girish is also there. so our main motive will be to play with proper coordination so that we do well this season. Our aim for this season would be to become champions and we will work on our mistakes from the last season and so well this year.”