Bengaluru, Nov. 27: Over the past few years, there has been no dearth of talent when it comes to the Indian Women's Hockey Team.
The World No. 9 side has a huge pool of players who are yet to play for the Senior Team, but have already gained useful experience and exposure representing the Junior Team around the world.
One such individual is Haryana's talented Defender Manpreet Kaur who is currently a part of the Senior Core Probables group, but is yet to feature for the Senior side. The 22-year-old has been knocking on the doors of the selectors for a while, and wants to continue focusing on doing the basics right.
"I am so happy and proud to be a part of the Senior Core Probables group, and to have this opportunity to play and work with the best players from India. My ambition has always been to represent my country at the highest level, and having done so at the Junior level, my next milestone is to represent the Senior Team soon," said Kaur.
"It is obviously something that is not in my hands, but I want to focus on everything that is in my hands. I want to put my 100% effort and hard work into getting myself ready for the time when I get the chance. I am really happy that we've had such great support and planning from Hockey India and SAI with regards to the exposure that I've been able to get at the Junior level, even without having played for the Senior Team yet," she added.
Winner of the Bronze Medal at the 4th Girls U18 Asia Cup 2016 held in Bangkok, Thailand, the young Defender recalls it as her most memorable tournament.
"I was really young back then, only 17 and it was such a big occasion for us to be representing the country at the continent's most important tournament at the Junior level. I remember how amazingly everyone in the team performed and I thought we were unfortunate to not make it to the Final, but the 3-0 victory in the Bronze Medal match against Republic of Korea made it worth it," expressed the youngster.
The Defender has also been part of some of the best teams at the domestic level, having won National Championships and Khelo India Medals with her state team of Haryana, and also represented her employers Railway Sports Promotion Board.
"When you are playing, you always step onto the field with only one aim - to win. Whenever I'm on the hockey pitch, I just focus on helping my team and winning the match. It has of course led me to some medals, but the real medal for me will be the day when I put on the Senior Team's jersey, and play my first ever match for the ever-improving Indian Women's Hockey Team," said Kaur, who also won a Silver Medal at the 6-Nations Invitational Tournament in Antwerp, Belgium in 2018.
Source: Hockey India