'I want to win the gold in Olympics for India': Jr. hockey team goalie Prince Deep

New Delhi, May 16 The Indian junior men's hockey team is gearing up for their tour of Europe scheduled for later this month and Prince Deep Singh, the team's goalkeeper, is thrilled at having a chance to gain some much-needed exposure playing against teams from other countries.

Led by skipper Rohit, the Indian team will be playing matches in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands between May 20 to 29. Among the twenty players selected to be a part of the tour is Prince Deep Singh, who has been picked alongside Bikramjit Singh to shoulder the goal-keeping responsibilities.

Coming from a humble background in the Pathankot district of Punjab, Prince Deep Singh picked up a hockey stick in 2016 for the first time. "I watched the Indian team play on TV and was particularly fond of PR Sreejesh's game. It made us want to try playing the sport. As I started to enjoy it while playing with my friends, I moved to an academy," he said.

Prince Deep Singh slowly moved up the ranks and went on to represent Roundglass Punjab Hockey Club Academy in the 2nd Hockey India Junior Men Academy National Championship 2022 before having an opportunity to represent Punjab in the 5th Khelo India Youth Games 2022 which took place in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh where they won the Bronze.

He also represented Punjab in the 13th Hockey India Junior Men National Championship that took place in June 2023 in Rourkela, Odisha. Although the team finished in fifth place, Prince Deep left a mark with his goal-keeping prowess during the tournament and over the year across other domestic tournaments as a result of which he was drafted in to be a part of the 40-member Junior Men’s National coaching camp in Bengaluru earlier this year.

Speaking about his experience during the camp, he said, “I got to learn a lot. Getting to be among the best Junior players in the country makes you want to put your best foot forward. I worked on getting better with each practice session and it helped that everyone involved motivated me.”

“We all got to know each other well, both as players and individuals. That goes a long way in creating a positive team environment,” he added.

The Indian team’s tour of Europe will help the players develop their game and learn about what they need to work on going into the season. Prince believes it is an opportunity for him to take his game to the next level. He said, “When you play against teams from other countries, you have to bring your A-game. I see this as an opportunity for the team as well as for myself to identify what we’re doing well and what we need to tweak to be able to reach greater heights in the game. That is the reason for this tour and I believe we’re going to make full use of it.”

“Right now, I’d like to do well for the nation at the Junior level and help us win tournaments with every chance I get and then go on to represent the senior Indian Men’s Hockey Team. I want to win the Gold in the Olympics for India one day. That is the ultimate dream,” he concluded.

Source: IANS
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