Home Interviews We have got some real hard working Junior Players- Prabhjot Singh

We have got some real hard working Junior Players- Prabhjot Singh

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Prabhjot Singh has been a star striker for India and has given Indians many a times, reasons to smile. A down to earth person, he talks about his life, hockey, junior talents & some of his struggles. Here is the Interview Excerpts:

Life other than Hockey…

When not playing, I try to do everything to stay fit, doing fitness training. I am working with Indian Oil Corporation other than playing for Hockey. I am married with a son who also demands my attention.

On whether his kid would take Hockey as a sport…

It is upon him to decide, he is too young to think about any sports. As he grows on, he will decide about his sports or whatever career he wants to pursue.

Initial inspirations…

I belong to a village in Gurdaspur. I was not a hockey player till the time I was fascinated to the game when I accompanied my friend to that hockey match:

My close friend used to play Hockey. One day he asked me to join. I went with him and was so attracted with the game, that I asked my parents to buy me a hockey stick. The journey with Hockey started then.

We used to go to a place which was 8 km away from the village and we had to attend the sessions from morning till afternoon. While on our return back home we could either get a lift or we had to walk to there. These were the initial days, we hadn’t had that smooth transport, we see now in our villages.

Then SAI Patiala where I trained under Mr. Inderjeet Singh Gill and there I learned basics of Hockey other than I could learn previously. Then I was up to the junior level where I performed. Then, U-21 where I performed well and I along with some other players, was selected for nationals where we met Mr. AK Bansal (who accompanied the national team recently) at junior team & he shaped some of our techniques. We went to Holland for a tournament and there our performances worked as the catalyst to bring us into the senior team. This is how I got into the national team.

Momentary achievement…

We went to Holland for mini World Cup and there in one match we were 0-4 down against them, but finally we won the match 7-4. It was not only my personal performance, but it was the team effort that translated into success that day. This is the match I never forget and it keeps me motivated.

Current plight of Indian Hockey…

We are not playing poor when you’ll add the fact that Asia Cup team was without several senior players. When the team was sent, it was rated as a weak team but the juniors did excellent job and that coupled with performances of senior players translated into some very good wins in the tournament. As a Hockey player, I could only wish for change in the final result. Had we played better in the first half, we were a winner that day. We played some of the best hockey if you see the tournament, but yes, we have to get better.

Junior players…

We have got some real hard working junior players and they have performed & supported the team at Asia cup. Most of them have been picked up from Hockey India League. They can create a better future for us.

That umpiring decision…

Such things happen in sports. There will be days when a player will be off color. Same happens with Umpires too, though this time it could perhaps help Indian cause.

Indian field hockey movement…

Indian hockey has been on the path to recovery of golden era. See Asia Cup for an example, we hardly had all senior players in the team. Still we managed to be the runner ups. Our young players are playing like anything. You see big names like Oltmans coming to India and coaching Indian Hockey players. This is improving Indian Hockey by leaps & bounds. (See more from Hockey here)

Indian Hockey so far…

Indian Hockey was on the track of improvement, the time I came in here. We had some quality players coming in & performing. Gagan Ajit, Jugraj, Deepak Thakur, Dilip Tirkey, Me (Prabhjot) and a couple of other players came in to the national team in that batch. But there came a halt when there was some tussle amongst the office bearers of Indian Federation and some of them started Hockey India and the players who kept the IHF side were thrown to bench.

That was a sad moment for Indian Hockey, though, it recovered gradually and some other players filled in for those players.

And I have already told you about current Hockey team, they are doing excellent job.

Talent pool…

Here I disagree with you. We have abundance of talent, but it is gradually the system which has to help them reach their acme of career. Sadly not all reach to that level of their individual game, but yes the situations have changed quite a bit of late. There are more players coming out & performing now than earlier.

Training/Fitness facilities in India…

Fitness is an issue? I disagree with your views. You can see in the recent tournaments, it is the fitness of the key players that has uplifted the team at crucial juncture. You might me confusing fitness with injuries; injuries do happen in such high intensity sports. It can’t be ignored, all we can do there is to have a pool of talent to substitute for the injured players and mind me India has a great potential in terms of talents.

 

Stadiums & infrastructure…

Indeed. Compare that to stadiums at Holland which is as small a country in area as our Punjab and you will see the difference. In India where we get to play on astro-turf after reaching a certain level, Holland has its clubs equipped with Astro-turf and they have separate stadiums. Other countries have similar structure. We will have to grow like them to make a return to supremacy in Hockey. Late introduction to astro-turf means players have to make adjustments and that takes time.

Regional hockey development in India…

Win and only win can help Hockey reach all the regions of our country. The more we’ll win at international stage, there will be more people following for our games and that would transform into expansion of Indian Hockey to far & wide in our country.

Sports Presentation…

It is actually more than the presentation that attracts the masses. Since you quoted Cricket as an example, you must recall that they have won all major tournaments of late. If Hockey has to attract masses, it has to win the World Cup, Champions Trophy, and all other major tournaments. That’s how the mass support comes in. Yes, presentation & commentary matter but once there will come big sponsors, there will be upgrade in standards of these. You can always see the ups in presentation in Hockey India League, compared to other club level Hockey in India. We have to win; and we have to win consistently to bring more people in.

 

Future plans…

I am doing all the exercises to keep me in shape. It is actually my fitness which can translate into performances, which in turn will attract selectors’ eyes. The only target right now is to stay fit & focused to make this happen.

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A Sports enthusiast with some Sports Management background. Feels Cricket, loves Hockey & Badminton and likes to interact with Sportspersons.