- Sep 23, 2023
- Jan 23, 2023
Young India hockey team defender and drag-flicker Jugraj Singh is happy that a healthy rivalry exists between him, Harmanpreet Singh and Varun Kumar. He believes this is good for the national side as it prepares to host a top-notch tournament, which includes the FIH World Cup in Odisha early next year.
“We have some excellent drag-flickers in the team right now, Harmanpreet (Singh), Varun (Kumar) and I. We always push each other to do better and it allows us to perform variations in matches as a team, which comes in handy in tough situations, especially since hockey teams properly scout to understand each team’s drag-flick routine. So, we practice variations to make sure that oppositions struggle to read our routine,” the 25-year-old Jugraj said on Hockey India’s podcast series ‘Hockey Te Charcha’ on Saturday.
The defender spoke about his struggles and problems that he had to overcome to come to the top. Jugraj, who was part of the second-place finishing campaign at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games, said, “I started playing in Attari when I was in the third grade. I shifted to Delhi for four years soon after college to play for the Punjab National Bank hockey academy which gave me my first start. It was in the PNB team that I started playing competitive tournaments where I was spotted by the Navy Hockey team who offered me a position in their senior squad, after winning silver at the national tournament.
“After which I was eagerly waiting for that one chance to play in the senior Indian hockey team. I put in a lot of work preparing myself for that chance and I finally got selected in the senior Indian squad which was an extremely proud moment for me,” added Jugraj.
He added, “One must fight with all his willpower to achieve anything they want in life, and I did the same. I never stopped fighting and never gave up which resulted in me getting that one opportunity that I needed to prove myself.”