Indian Women’s hockey defender Manpreet Kaur who has been at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Bengaluru with the other players as a part of the Women’s team core probables is aiming to make her debut for the senior side at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. She wants to make her senior team debut at the Tokyo Olympics which will make it a dreamlike occasion for the young defender.
However, she wants to keep her feet on the ground at the moment and continue working hard. Manpreet has gained valuable experience with the junior team and will look to continue that form to the senior team.
Explaining the transition from the junior team to the senior side, Manpreet said, “It’s been a great experience so far with the senior team. You know, you are surrounded by all the experienced players on and off the field, so there is so much to learn every day. Things are very different to what I experienced when I was with the Junior team. From training to diet to fitness, everything is on a different level here, and you need to adapt to it as quickly as possible.”
The youngster was part of India’s tour of Argentina which was her maiden international tour with the Indian Eves. “I had butterflies in my stomach as it was my first ever tour with the senior team. Moreover, it was the team’s first assignment in almost a year’s time, so everyone was really excited,” she said sharing her experience as a youngster.
“I was also given a chance by the coaches to express myself on my maiden international tour with the senior team. I was very nervous, but the senior players motivated me, and match-by-match, I kept gaining confidence, so it was a great learning experience even though those were practice matches.”
The young, robust defender hails from Shahabad Markanda located in the state of Haryana. She is a product of the renowned Shahabad Hockey Academy, the same are from where Indian Women’s captain Rain Rampaul, Navjot Kaur and Navneet Kaur learned their ropes..
“I have followed Rani di, Navjot di and Navneet di from very close quarters while growing up. Just like other girls in Shahabad, I also idolised Rani di. She is my biggest inspiration, and it’s a special feeling to spend time with her at the camp. She guides young players like me in the right direction, and she is the biggest motivator in the team,” she concluded.