Will use next 12 months to earn place in Oly-bound squad: Dilpreet

When Dilpreet was picked in the core probables group for the FIH Hockey Pro League season earlier this year, Dilpreet knew he should not waste away this chance but at the same time, the task ahead of him was not easy.
Will use next 12 months to earn place in Oly-bound squad: Dilpreet
Picture Credit: Hockey India twitter profile

Bengaluru

India men's hockey forward Dilpreet Singh has said that with the Tokyo Games now postponed by a year, he has the time to hone his skills and focus on the areas coach Graham Reid has asked him to improve and be in the reckoning to make the Olympic-bound squad.
"After the FIH Hockey Pro League matches, the chief coach has asked me to improve on certain areas like my defensive skills, tackling and putting pressure in the final minutes of the match," Dilpreet said.
"The postponement will certainly give youngsters like me a chance to prove ourselves and keep hopes up to earn a place in the India squad for the Olympics," he added.
He had shown a lot of promise when he made his senior India debut in 2018 and he was touted as the next big thing in India's forwardline. But after the FIH Men's World Cup debacle in 2018, Dilpreet was demoted to the junior camp and was asked to work on his fitness with special emphasis on his discipline on the field and overall attitude.
"I was in the junior national camp when chief coach Graham (Reid) watched me train and he spoke to me individually," recalled Dilpreet, who was a key player in India colts' silver medal feat at the Sultan of Johor Cup last year.
When Dilpreet was picked in the core probables group for the FIH Hockey Pro League season earlier this year, Dilpreet knew he should not waste away this chance but at the same time, the task ahead of him was not easy.
"I did feel the pressure initially but Manpreet would have long chats with me building my confidence and when I was called up for the match against Belgium, he advised me to play with confidence, focus on the specific role given to me," said Dilpreet who hails from Butala village near Amritsar, Punjab.
"I was quite nervous and was not sure if I was up for the challenge, especially to play against the world champions where any small mistake could cost us dearly but Manpreet and other seniors gave me that confidence," he added.

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