Emerging forward Arijit Singh Hundal, who has been named the vice-captain of the Indian team for the upcoming Junior World Cup, is living his father’s dream by helping India finish on the podium at the prestigious tournament to be held in Kuala Lumpur from December 5 to 16. Committed to leaving your mark.
Hundal grew up in a family where hockey was a tradition. The Amritsar-born forward made his debut for India at the 2021 Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar where he scored five goals in six matches and has not looked back since. The 19-year-old player told Hockey India, “Everyone in my family played hockey, including my grandfather, father and uncle. When my father used to go to play, I used to go with him in my childhood. Hundal, who has scored 17 goals in 22 matches till now, said, “Since then my interest kept increasing. My father had a dream of representing India and now I am carrying forward this dream for him.” Hundal is among the seven players in the 18-member squad that represented India at the 2021 Junior World Cup in Bhubaneswar. The other six members are Captain Uttam Singh, Bobby Singh Dhami, Sudeep Chirmako, Vishnukant Singh, Sunil Jojo and Sharda Nand Tiwari. India finished fourth in the tournament after losing 1-3 to France in the classification playoff.
Hundal said, “We have prepared well as a team in the camp and have focused on many important departments of our game. We are working on important technical parts where we can improve and our aim is to win medals.” He said that the team has learned a lot in the last few years and the team is full of confidence ahead of the upcoming tournament. “Since the last Junior World Cup, we have learned that we should not take any team lightly and we have to give 100 percent against all teams,” Hundal said. We have to keep pushing ourselves until the final whistle.”
“We have played three-four major tournaments which has really boosted our confidence,” he said. We have also seen how other teams play and we can make slight changes to our game to improve our chances in a match.” The India forward said after defeating Pakistan 2-1 in the junior men’s Winning the Asia Cup has been the highlight of his career so far. In the Junior World Cup, India have been placed in Pool C along with Canada, Korea and Spain and will start their campaign against Korea on December 5.
Defending champions Argentina, Australia, Chile and Malaysia are in Pool A. In this 16-team tournament, Egypt, France, Germany and South Africa have been placed in Pool B while Belgium, New Zealand, Pakistan and Netherlands are in Pool D.
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