Lengthy lay-off a time for Simranjeet to cement his place in Indian team 

The young forward is busy looking at his performance for the senior team so far, noting down key aspects that he needs to work on.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

Like many of the youngsters in the Indian hockey men’s team, Simranjeet Singh too was inducted into the senior setup following a stellar show at the 2016 FIH Junior Hockey World Cup.

Playing in their backyard, the Indian colts had displayed some top-quality hockey to lift the title in Lucknow.

But like any other age-group event, the Junior World Cup was more than about winning the title.

The boys were aware that the national selectors had a close eye on them and with the then chief coach Roelant Oltmans part of the support staff in Lucknow, their performances would not go unnoticed.

And thankfully for Simrajeet Singh, his displays, which included a few delightful goals including the winner in the final, caught the attention of the senior team management and was advanced to the senior national team.

But his life among the senior pros has been anything but easy.

Initially, Simranjeet Singh had to wait for over a year to make his senior team debut. And when he did get his first nod, the Punjab player struggled to cement his place in the side.

Consistency, Simranjeet Singh’s biggest enemy

With the likes of Mandeep Singh, SV Sunil, Gurjant Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Akahsdeep Singh in the ranks, the Indian hockey team has barely had a death of quality upfront.

And with Simranjeet Singh finding it hard to outdo his compatriots consistently, the team management have been reluctant to give the youngster a chance on the field.

However, with the Olympics being pushed by a year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Smarajeet Singh is keen to make the most of the time to work on his game.

A student of the sport from the famed Surjit Hockey Academy, Simranjeet Singh is using technology to aid him during the lockdown. “I have been mostly watching a lot of videos from our previous matches,” he said in a statement released by Hockey India.

“It has given me a chance to patiently go through the footage and note down key aspects that I need to work on, once we can get back on the pitch. This is a good use of time to spend on looking back at our performances and learning from them.”

Though he believes that the team was a bit taken aback with the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, Simrajeet Singh was sure that just like him, every other player was looking at the extended period as a phase to prepare them better.

“It’s disappointing that the Olympics has been postponed to next year. We have been in fantastic rhythm since last year and the team was building up well for the Olympics,” he said.

“We should certainly utilize the next year to become an even better side. We will ensure that we work harder and produce great results on the field.”

With the FIH Pro League suspended for the foreseeable future, the Indian hockey team will be eagerly looking forward to how the season is planned keeping in mind the Olympics in 2021.