Simranjeet Singh was the player who made a difference for the Indian Men’s hockey team in August 2021 against Germany in the Olympics bronze medal match. He scored a brace in India’s 5-4 win to clinch the historic bronze medal in Tokyo.
However, life has not been easy for the attacking midfielder as he has suffered numerous injuries and missed important events including the Asia Cup in Jakarta and the Men’s Hockey World Cup in 2023. He was a part of the Asia Cup team but he returned home after playing the first match as he got injured.
But with determination and hard work, Simranjeet has taken the first step as he got selected in the 39-member hockey core group for the Hockey India National Coaching camp which started earlier this month and will run till May 21.
The team will then travel to Europe to face Belgium, Great Britain, Netherlands and Argentina in the upcoming Pro League matches.
“I am super happy to return to the National Coaching Camp after struggling with injuries for quite some time,” Simranjeet said, before adding, “It was disheartening for me to miss the World Cup.”
He shared that he took inspiration from Brazilian footballer Neymar Jr. to recover from injuries. The Brazilian football star suffers a lot of injuries but he comes back stronger every time. “In sports, players can suffer injuries at any given moment but it depends on them how they deal with it and make a comeback. For me, Neymar served as an inspiration as despite getting injured numerous times, the Brazilian footballer has always made a strong comeback. Likewise, I also focused on regaining full fitness, did all the necessary things to make a comeback and most importantly, I never gave up,” the 26-year-old opened up.
The attacking midfielder is now working hard on his goals to regain his match fitness and wants to play for India again. He wants to start off with the Pro League matches and later look forward to the Asian Games. He understands that the Asian Games is crucial considering it is a qualifying event for the Paris Olympics.
“I want to get selected for the team for the remaining season of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2022-2023. Moreover, I will focus on making it to the squad for the Hangzhou Asian Games, which will be played later this year. The tournament is crucial for us as it will give us an opportunity to directly qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics and also assert our dominance in Asia,” Simranjeet Singh concluded.
India had a very forgettable World Cup outing at home as they recorded the joint-worst finish by the host nation in the tournament’s history. India lost 5-4 on penalties after playing out a 3-3 draw in the regulation time of the crossover game against New Zealand. Hence they will look to bounce back. They have shown promise in the recent Pro League matches but the real test will be away from home and later in the Asian Games.