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Turner wants India stint to attract local eyes

Date

David Polkinghorne

Lakers player Glenn Turner will soon be part of an Indian team.

Lakers player Glenn Turner will soon be part of an Indian team. Photo: Colleen Petch

Glenn Turner hopes he's entering into a brave new world for hockey when he flies out for the inaugural Hockey India League on Wednesday.

The Canberra Lakers and Kookaburras striker will play for the Mumbai Magicians when the HIL hits off next Monday.

He hoped a successful tournament would help the Australian Hockey League attract more funds and become a proper home-and-away tournament - rather than the current format of a two-week carnival - with bigger crowds and games shown on television.

''Hopefully it takes off, a bit like the cricket [Indian Premier League], which I'm sure it will. It's getting pretty exciting over there and India are getting behind it,'' Turner told The Canberra Times on Sunday.

''Hopefully ABC or Foxtel sees the potential in the TV rights and we can get a good AHL or national competition over here on the weekends, instead of playing a two-week tournament.''

Turner is playing in the Australian Indoor Hockey Championships at Lyneham over the next few days, although he'll have to fit in a trip to the Indian Embassy to get a visa on Monday morning.

He's hoping to help the ACT men's team win the title, which will also act as a warm-up for the HIL.

The ACT won its first four games - against Tasmania, WA, Victoria and Queensland - and is on track to make Tuesday's final.

Turner scored two goals in the 12-1 win over Victoria on Sunday night and one in the 10-3 defeat of Queensland earlier in the day.

Ladder-leader ACT plays second-placed NSW in its final pool match on Monday.

Turner flies out on Wednesday and will have just one week to get to know his new teammates.

The 28-year-old was auctioned for $25,000 and had to wait until about 2am before he was finally snapped up. The auction went for five hours and was televised on YouTube - something Turner thought would need to be tweaked for season two.

''It was a lot longer than they expected and it seemed like they were working it out as they went as well,'' he said with a laugh.

''I think this year it was about just getting it done, and there were a couple of hiccups, but hopefully the comp goes really well and next year you just weed out the little things.''

The HIL starts next Monday with the Delhi Waveriders playing the Jaypee Punjab Warriors. Turner's Magicians play two days later against the Waveriders, with the grand final on February 10.

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