Mandeep Singh is a 23-year-old forward who plays field hockey for Indian National Hockey Team and Delhi Waveriders in the Hockey India League. He hails from Jalandhar in Punjab and has 105 caps representing the national team, in which he has stroked an overall of 41 goals.
Mandeep was born on 25 January 1995 in Jalandhar. He was five when he decided to start playing hockey after watching his older brother play the game. As a youth, Singh played for Surjit Hockey Academy based in his hometown which has produced the likes of Jugraj Singh and Manpreet Singh.
Singh was part of the first ever auction of Hockey India League (HIL) in December 2012 and was purchased by the franchise, Ranchi Rhinos. A couple of months later, he joined another Surjit Academy player, Manpreet Singh, in the national team. He made his debut for Indian national professional field hockey team on 18th February 2013, where India demolished Fiji with the historic margin of 16-0.
Rise to Glory
Mandeep had a long journey with Ranchi Rhinos in the inaugural season of the HIL which happily culminated into the victory over Delhi Waveriders on 10th February 2013. He helped Ranchi to win the semi-finals against UP Wizards as he managed to pull off two crucial goals. He scored 10 goals in thirteen matches of the season being the second highest goal scorer of the league, only behind the mighty Sandeep Singh. He was awarded with the trophy of the Upcoming Player of the Tournament. In 2015, he was transferred to Delhi Waveriders and continues to play for the time since then.
After a promising start in his international career, he fixed his spot in the national team after being part of the winning squad for the 2016 Men's Hockey Junior World Cup. India as a host nation won the tournament after defeating Belgium 2-1 in the final.
Singh became the poster boy of the Indian Hockey when India managed to upset the then World number one team Germany in the Hero World Hockey League in 2014. He achieved all this in late teenage years and that makes one certain of his capabilities and talent. He knows his game well and always places himself at the right place on the turf, in the right moment, to strike hard back into the net.
Mandeep’s short successful career till date is widely praised by the fans as well as the critics. However, whenever the Indian national team has failed to fulfil the hopes at occasions, he still has managed to pull off some memorable performances, as in Hero WHL in 2014. Also recently in 2017, he managed to upset Japan with his memorable hat-trick in Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
As the defending champion of the 2014 Asian Games Hockey Gold medal, the Indian team disappointed the fans significantly in the recently concluded 2018 edition. The performance of the team was below par-excellence and they managed to end up third somehow after defeating arch-rival Pakistan. Singh was part of this squad who was criticized ruthlessly for being off-colour during the tournament. The PR Sreejesh-led side failed to automatically qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after the loss against Malaysia.
The stage is set for the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 in Bhubaneswar. There will be a lot of pressure on India being the host nation. Teams are waiting for the tournament to begin on November 28 as they train and sweat hard. The recently announced national squad for the tournament features Mandeep Singh as well. It would be thrilling to watch this top notch player prancing around the pitch to strike the ball into the corner of the net and help his side lift the title for the second time.