Indian hockey mainstay Manpreet Singh will don the captain’s armband at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. A core member of the team, Manpreet Singh has been playing for India for close to a decade now.
Manpreet Singh has been a part of many victorious campaigns - 2014 Asian Games, the 2011 and 2018 Asian Champions Trophy, and the FIH World League in 2015 and 2017 where the team won Bronze medals.
The versatile player has steadily risen up the ranks. He got a chance to captain the team for the first time in 2017. Since then, there has been no looking back for Manpreet Singh.
The captain credited the then-seniors for making him comfortable when he made his India debut and letting him play his game. He told Hockey India:
“When I came into Team India for the first time there were so many stalwarts like Ignace Tirkey, Tushar Khandker, Shivendra Singh, Sardar Singh, Gurbaj Singh, Sarvanjit Singh and Sandeep Singh. All of these players gave me the confidence to play my own game without fear or anxiety. Even when I made some mistakes in the beginning, they gave me their full support and always encouraged me to express myself on the field without any fear. That was a great environment for a youngster like me to come into the national team.”
Manpreet Singh lauds the Indian team's grit
Manpreet Singh is a versatile captain. He is an expert strategist with an ability to pierce the opposition field. Leading the team, he has made sure that the youngsters in his team get the the same support from him as he did in his early days. He said:
“I have picked up a lot from the experienced players and captains before me. We have a culture in this team where there is no distinction between senior players and junior players. Everyone in the team drives each other on to play without hesitation or fear. We support each other through on-field and off-field problems and always try to uplift the morale of the group. Even in this team, I always heed the advice and inputs of experienced players like PR Sreejesh, Rupinder Pal Singh and Birendra Lakra as everyone is keen to help in the growth of the team.”
The Indian flag bearer for the Tokyo Olympics 2020, Manpreet Singh said he wants to work hard to lead the team to a podium finish. He said:
“I have been blessed to have a great career in hockey thus far, but I still have two goals that I want to achieve in hockey. One of them is to win an Olympic medal for India, and the other is to win the Hockey World Cup. I will continue to work hard for these goals and lead the team along with me to the best of my ability.”
Also Checkout: Tokyo Olympic Hockey Schedule