The 2015 Hockey India League (HIL) Auction saw some young Indian players getting a better deal by franchisees as each wanted them in their team. One such player was Nikkin Thimmaiah who post consistent bidding by various franchisees was finally grabbed by Dabang Mumbai for $67,000/-. Being regarded as one of the exceptional upcoming goalkeeper, Akash Chitke feels privileged to be part of Ranchi Rays and is looking forward to a wonderful learning experience with his inclusion in the League.
The Bengaluru-lad Nikkin Thimmaiah is remembered for his hat-trick against Australia in the 2015 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, where the striker helped his team to register a 4-2 win in the 3rd/4th Classification Match. The talented striker had been a key player of the Uttar Pradesh Wizards (UPW) for the last two seasons as he successfully helped complete the attacking line. With his new team, he will now rub shoulders with Gurmail Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Harmanpreet Singh along with German forward Florian Fuchs, Australian midfielder Matthew Swann and Irish goal-keeper David Harte in the upcoming editions.
Speaking on the HIL Auction 2015, Nikkin Thimmaiah stated, “The price is really unexpected and it was an emotional moment for me as it made me realise that my work is getting recognised. I had wonderful days with Uttar Pradesh Wizards and I am thankful to the franchisee and Coaching Staff to give me ample opportunities to showcase my talent. I am very happy to see the world’s best forward Florian Fuchs of Germany in my team and privilege to play with him for the next two seasons. I am very lucky to be in the same team as Florian Fuchs, Matthew Swann, David Harte, Gurmail Singh, Danish Mujtaba and Harmanpreet Singh. I am looking forward to the upcoming season. What is the most exciting is the new regulation. It is yet to be seen who will take the most advantage of this.”
Declared as the Promising Player of the tournament in the 5th Senior National Championship recently, the 23 year- old Akash Chitke has the credit of producing valiant saves as he guarded the net very capably for his side during the tournament. Presently he is even part of the three week goalkeeping camp under Dave Staniforth taking place at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, New Delhi. This training under Dave will help the goalie prove himself to be a valuable asset for his team- Ranchi Rays.
Speaking on being a part of Ranchi Rays, Akash Chitke said, “I am happy that I am part of Ranchi Rays where I will get a chance to play with diverse set of talented players. It will be a golden opportunity for me to showcase my capabilities and skills in such a crucial League which is regarded world over as best Hockey League by every International association along with FIH. It is good to see that my performance in the Senior National Championship has been acknowledged and that helped me to get picked up by Ranchi Rays during the auction. I am aiming to use this platform to my advantage as my next goal from here is the National side. I feel privileged to play in a team which has the best names in International hockey today. Be it Trent Mitton, Tyler Lovell, Ashley Jackson, Manpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra or Barry Middleton, I am certain to gain a good learning experience from each one of them and I can’t wait for the League to start. I think this induction to Ranchi Rays would be largely because of Coach Harendra Singh who has this ability to notice talent and work on that talent to make it a masterpiece. I am looking forward to get coached under him for the League.”