Jarmanpreet Singh, a tough and resilient defender on the field, looks to be a calm and friendly person off the pitch ahead of the 13th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship, which begun today in Chennai.
As one who has played and has competed in several Senior National championships, the 27-year-old from Punjab knows the value of the premier event more than anyone else.
“It was due to the Nationals that I got back into the National team in 2018 and got a job. It is a huge tournament for everyone more so for youngsters to show their potential,” Jarmanpreet, who has 85 Internationals caps for India, told Sportstar after his training session here on Friday.
Of all the teams in the Senior Nationals here, Punjab looks formidable with five current Indian team players including Harmanpreet Singh, Jarmanpreet, Shamsher Singh, Sukhjeet Singh and goalkeeper Krishan Pathak, who were part of the recent gold-winning campaign in Hangzhou Asian Games.
However, the Indian defender is not willing to take things for granted. “There are lots of international players in other teams as well. We would like to play our game. We are in good mental shape and want to take one match at a time,” said Jarmanpreet, who was part of the Indian team which also won gold in the Asian Champions Trophy earlier this year.
According to Jarmanpreet, it is a great experience to play under India captain Harmanpreet (he is expected to join his team here on November 19). “The [Punjab] team environment is positive. Harmanpreet is an inspiration. With the new artificial turf, we are all looking forward to the Nationals,” he said.
“The aim of the Indian team”, he said, “is to win the gold or finish on the podium at the 2024 Paris Olympics. “We are focussed on bagging the gold in Paris or finishing in the top 3. We are physically and mentally in good shape to do it. We have quite a few tournaments before that: a 5-nation tournament in Spain, FIH Pro League and a few Test matches,” he said.
Punjab got a 5-0 win at Mayor Radhakrishnan Stadium today after Tripura forfeited the match.
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