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Sunday, Oct 20, 2019

Awards play a key role in career: Dabang Mumbai drag-flicker Harmanpreet

Harmanpreet Singh, the 21-one-year-old drag-flicker of Dabang Mumbai, scored seven goals and contributed to their successful run in the Hockey India League (HIL) before they lost the final to Kalinga Lancers.

other-sports Updated: Feb 27, 2017 21:36 IST
Saurabh Duggal
Saurabh Duggal
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Harmanpreet received the Hockey India League (HIL) Emerging Player Award after the final on Sunday.
Harmanpreet received the Hockey India League (HIL) Emerging Player Award after the final on Sunday.(Hockey India League)

Harmanpreet Singh, who missed out on theFIH’s ‘rising star of the year’ award, made up for it by bagging the ‘emerging player award’ of the Hockey India League (HIL) here on Sunday.

The 21-one-year-old drag-flicker, who turned out for Dabang Mumbai, scored seven goals and contributed to Mumbai’s successful run before they lost the final to Kalinga Lancers.

FIH’s ‘rising star of the year’ award winner Arthur van Doren of Belgium, part of the Uttar Pradesh Wizards who finished second runners-up, had four goals to his name.

Read more | How Dabang Mumbai was the best team in HIL despite loss to Kalinga in final

“It will be unfair to compare the awards --- the FIH rising star and HIL emerging player. The FIH award is adjudged on the basis of performance for the entire year, while the HIL award is based on the showing in one tournament,” he said. “I was not disappointed on losing the FIH award, because even being nominated for such a prestigious award was an honour and motivation for me.

“I am happy that my performance in the HIL remained decent and I contributed to my franchise making their maiden final. The enjoyment of the award would have doubled had we lifted the title,” added Harmanpreet, who hails from Timmowal village in Amritsar.

Read more | Hockey India League: UP Wizards clinch bronze medal with win over Delhi Waveriders

“On the personal front, every award and recognition plays an important role in a sportsperson’s career and I hope the emerging player award will help cement my place in the senior team. I was part of the senior national squad last year for important tournaments like Olympics (2016 Rio Games), but I’m yet to leave an impression on the senior circuit,” he added. Harmanpreet was part of the 2016 Junior World Cup winning squad.

Asked where he needed to focus more to make the transition from the junior to senior circuit, he said, “The HIL is a top-level tournament where the world’s best players take the field. So playing and scoring consistently in the league is proof that you are ready for the senior circuit.

Read more | Construction of Moga’s first astroturf hockey stadium begins

“But there is scope for improvement at every level and I have to focus more on the speed of my drag-flicks along with working on variations,” said Harmanpreet, whose next target is to be part of the national squad for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in April.

First Published: Feb 27, 2017 21:36 IST

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