Dilpreet Singh, a 19-year-old boy who reigns from the Butala village in Amritsar (Punjab) positions himself as forward for the Indian National Hockey Team. With just 16 International Caps, he has scored a staggering 7 goals. Dilpreet was born to the army-man, Balwinder Singh who also represented the army in Hockey.
Dilpreet began playing hockey on a grass field in Butala in the Amritsar District at the tender age of 7after which he found himself training in his father’s academy called the ‘Khadur Sahib Academy’ after which he proceeded to the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Hockey Academy in Amritsar at the age of 11 and finally trained at the Surjit Academy in Jalandhar.
Dilpreet, still 4 years shy of 21, caught the eye of the selectors with his stellar goal-scoring at the Johor cup, wherein he scored 9 goals in 6 matches of which there was a hat-trick, and he was also awarded as the top goal-scorer in the six-team tournament. In the match where they bagged the bronze, he curated two of the chances in the midfield and also scored a brace in the losing match against Australia and this was reason enough for him to be called into the senior squad for the Four-Nations Invitational Tournament in New Zealand.
Rise to Glory
Dilpreet Singh has been an early bloomer into field hockey and his talent has been noteworthy of cross borders for the performance at the Sultan of Johor Cup. He scored some magnificient goals during the tournament and managed to create some of the goals ‘out of no open possibility of goal scoring’. The second — a deft reverse-stick chip over the goalkeeper from a narrow angle — got the commentator saying, “That is just some of the magic that is Dilpreet Singh!
According to his coach at Surjit Academy, Dilpreet was always good at scoring but in the years 2016 & 17, there had been some tremendous change and a massive spurt of growth, both physically and mentally. The coach claimed that his game sense and his all-round game had improved.
With his favorite player being Akashdeep Singh, Dilpreet had his eyes set on being with his icon on the same team-sheet at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in 2018. Dilpreet, with that spectacle of a performance, not-surprisingly, was called up for the Commonwealth Games wherein India came in at #4. In the 6 caps that Dilpreet played in the games, he scored 2 goals of which both were field goals.
There would have to be two significant events at this juncture to highlight his highs:
1. Performance in the Sultan of Johor Cup.
Top scorer, 9 goals in 6 matches, including a hat-trick and three braces, helping India bag the bronze medal. A tournament that had virtually turned his aspirations of playing with Akashdeep Singh in the Commonwealth Games.
2. Representing India at Commonwealth Games 2018.
Although India didn’t bag a medal at the commonwealth games in Hockey in 2018, Dilpreet Singh was called up for representing India in Australia alongside his ‘favorite’. Scoring 2 goals in 6 caps and doing so at the age of 18 speaks about the kind of potential left to unleash inside of him.
Dilpreet is still just 19. A weakness more than a low point is the attitude that Dilpreet had come in with. There was a lot of work to be put in to make him a player of the caliber he is today, he was made to play as a midfielder on some occasions to catapult his playmaking and defensive skills. Coach Avtar says that the boy needed to keep his focus in the game because he came in with an attitude problem, but there has been considerable improvement in his stature since. The pace with which he is soaring must not lead to a directly proportionate attitude change because he has the potential to India’s future star.