It’s a beautiful night here in Vaashnapoor, where the defending champs, the Kapda cannons take on the young, hungry Duureanta Lions here in Vaakpati Stadium in the Major League Kendu season opener. I’m Valdezi Sun’khar, with me are former all star Lance Drake Mandrell and our sideline reporter, Abby Ramdha. We’ll be back in a minute with the starting lineups.
Kapda Cannons: (Red and Black)
Daljeet LeFleur ©
Kashi en Faolan
Ferd Van Girder
Lance: A lot of returning players this season for the Cannons. They lost one of their ‘followers’, Deel Duschagne, in free agency to the Mavericks, and have replaced him with the rookie Maasadar Mdang, from Tasharaana, on Intaki Prime
And the Cannons are coached by Kara Guruna
Lance: It feels weird not to say Saavin Singh, doesn’t it? Well, he’s parted with the club for unknown reasons. In the Singh-era, the Cannons were known for their “Illoren” offence which saw the team ignore the ‘normal’ positions of three north, three south, and three across the middle. Instead the team employed three on-ball followers and two players in each third focusing on yamala. Singh however, was also known for his punishing conditioning routine. Who knows if incoming coach Guruna, a protege of ‘The Special One’, will hold to his offensive philosophy or try something new.
We see Daljeet LeFleur run out onto the pitch now.
Lance: With multiple All-Intaki selections as well as All-Star appearances, Daljeet LeFleur is the most accomplished player on either team, but he is now deep into the twilight of his career. Rumour suggests that this, his 19th season, will be his last.
And here’s the lineup for the home team, the Duureanta Lions:
Duureanta Lions: (Maroon, Blue and Gold)
Eduard Trastámara ©
Mahendra en Wylanere
Lance: Yeah, the Lions traded problematic player Fadi En Grastenour towards the end of last season to the Dubaana Rockets and got back Deandre Laurent and Takdeer Bellegarde as well as some draft picks. En Grastenour was a known locker-room cancer who didn’t fit Coach Joshy’s widely discussed ‘no dickheads’ policy, despite scoring twenty five goals last season. The Lions may miss his offence this season.
And they’re coached by Alwin Joshy
Lance: Coach Joshy is a traditionalist in his style, known for promoting a positive locker-room culture and never showing emotion in front of his players or during games. Some have criticised his style as ‘utilitarian’ and ‘boring’ but his effective, team-first mentality has taken Duureanta from the bottom of the league to a team consistently in playoff contention.
And the Lions are led out by the imposing Eduard Trastámara, Lance.
Lance: Yeah, the Lions roll out returning captain, Eduard Trastámara who slots into the central midfield. Known primarily as a defensive player, Trastámara has been key to the Lions’ strategy over his career as he’s known for stifling enemy attacks, especially through tackling.