Farm to form: Young hockey player picked up for Malaysia tour

The 18-year-old goalkeeper has been named in the Indian junior team for the Sultan of Johar Cup to be held from Sept 22 to 29

Written by Nitin Sharma | Chandigarh | Published: September 4, 2013 2:17:51 am

More than a decade ago,a young Harjot Singh would help his father Surinder Singh on the farm at his village Amloh near Fatehgarh Sahib,about 35 km from Chandigarh. A talk with a Chandigarh hockey player once meant that the youngster enrolled in the Chandigarh Football and Hockey Academy,Sector 42,Chandigarh,and the youngster has not looked back since then. The 18-year-old goalkeeper has been named in the Indian junior team for the Sultan of Johar Cup to be held at Johar Bahru,Malaysia,from September 22 to September 29.

“It’s exciting to know that I have been selected in the Indian junior team for the Malaysia tour. I was travelling at the time when I got the call. I informed my father,and he was happy to know that I will be going to Malaysia for the tournament. He said his efforts had paid off. We have a small farm at our village,and I used to assist him on the form. I started playing hockey at my village and later enrolled in the CFHA,” said Singh,who studied at the Government Senior Secondary School,Sector 42.

The young goalie graduated from the Chandigarh Football and Hockey Academy in 2011 and was also a part of the academy team which toured Malaysia in 2010. After guiding Chandigarh to various junior and sub-junior national titles,Singh made a move to the rival World Series of Hockey last year and signed up for Chandigarh Comets team in last year’s WSH.

But with the rival league ending and Hockey India introducing its own league,he returned to the Hockey India fold and was rewarded when he was also named in the Indian team for the Europe tour in June early this year.

The youngster also spent his time training under former Indian hockey goalie Baljeet Singh Dadhwal. “I was 10 when I joined the academy and whatever I am today is due to the academy. Late coach Jasbir Singh Bajwa and coach Gurminder Singh spent a lot of time with us. I played in WSH and spending time with players like Rehan Butt of Pakistan helped my goalkeeping skills. Besides that,I trained along with senior player Baljeet Singh Dadhwal whose inputs helped me a lot. The coming Malaysia tour will be an important one as it is for the preparation of the Junior World Cup to be held in India later this year,” said Singh,who works with Punjab and Sind Bank and is currently posted in Jalandhar.

Former Indian goalkeeper Baljeet Singh Dadhwal rates Singh highly and believes that the 18-year-old can play for Indian senior team and is a bright prospect. “Players like Harjot are India’s future. One of his strengths is his willpower and he plays with heart. He has a good vision and is alert on the field. Most of the times,he also spends time with drag flickers which is a good thing,” said Dadhwal.

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