India junior men's hockey team's forward Sudeep Chirmako is certainly a talent to watch out for in the future. His performances in the junior circuit have been noteworthy and many expect him to make the step up sooner rather than later.
Chirmako made his junior team debut for India at the 8-Nations Invitational Tournament held in Spain in 2018. He was instrumental behind India's silver medal at the 3rd Youth Olympic Games held in Argentina in 2018.
But now he wants to take a step forward and dribble his way into the senior team and rub shoulders with his idol - current India striker and 2018 Asian Champions Trophy Player of the Tournament Akashdeep Singh.
“I think the area I play in on the field is very similar to what Akashdeep Singh does for the senior team. He’s always very quick with the ball, and his positioning and off-the-ball runs are always very useful for the team, so I always keep a close eye on him, and I hope to one day be able to play alongside him for the Indian team,” said Chirmako, who hails from Sundargarh district in Odisha, in a Hockey India media release.
Chirmako has already built a reputation as prolific and has the distinction of being the top-scorer at the Youth Olympic Games with 11 goals. He is ready to do what it takes to train under Graham Reid and fulfill his parent's dreams.
“It is a wonderful phase in my life and in my young career. I’ve had the honour and privilege to have represented my country at the highest level with the junior team, and want to keep working hard to one day be able to play for the senior team,” said Chirmako.
“I have a dream which I want to fulfil for my parents, and that is to play for the country for many years. I come from a region which is known for its hockey, and several players have represented India, and I wish to do the same by excelling in my duties with the national team,” added Chirmako.
But the 18-year-old is well versed with the challenges that lay ahead of him, as there is stiff competition amongst the players in the junior side. He also feels that there's much room for improvement in his game before breaking into the senior team.
"I think the best thing about our sport at the moment is that there is so much competition for places, even at the junior level. We’ve got so many talented players coming through across the country, and what I want to do is pick up and learn stuff from all of them, and make myself better.
"I think if you want to be a forward player for the Indian team, you need to have everything in your game. I know it is a huge challenge, but I am ready to do everything to improve every day and earn my position in whichever team I am selected to play in,” stated Chirmako.