“Would love to score goals during the London stage as well”: Indian hockey forward Araijeet Singh

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London [UK]: Araijeet Singh Hundal, hailing from Amritsar, Punjab, realised his father Kuljit Singh’s unfulfilled dream of playing for the Indian men’s hockey team after making his senior debut against South Africa in January this year. Since then, the 20-year-old forward has played nine more matches and is relishing the opportunity to make his mark on the international stage in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24.

Hundal has an impeccable record of finding the net for the Indian junior men’s hockey team, scoring 21 goals in just 28 outings. In 10 appearances for the senior team, Araijeet has scored twice, with both goals coming in the Antwerp stage of the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24, against Argentina and Belgium, as per a press release from Hockey India.

Reflecting on his Pro League experience, Araijeet said, “This is the first time I am playing in the Pro League outside of India, and having scored two goals in four matches, I feel it has been an exceptional experience. The crowd and atmosphere here in London are splendid, and I would love to score a few goals at this stage as well. Apart from the goals, I have also gained knowledge about the style of play at the highest level, which has helped me better grasp the game. I have also identified areas where I can improve, and I am eager to try and fix them in the rest of the matches and during training later.”

At a young age, Araijeet Singh Hundal is already a multifaceted player. In addition to being tall, strong, quick, and a natural goal threat, he is also an emerging drag-flicker, a skill usually honed by defenders. This unique combination has earned him a spot in the 27-member Indian Men’s Hockey Team that is preparing for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

“Seniors in the team have constantly reassured the youngsters that there is no pressure on us. They have given us the freedom to play how we want, which will help us play to our maximum potential. We have just two matches remaining in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24, and the team is high in confidence. These matches have also served as a great testing ground for the Olympics; we had some ideas that worked out and some that didn’t, but ultimately, the results have increased our confidence. It is also a great opportunity to see how the other teams are lining up and is the best way to prepare for the Olympics.

We are playing every match with our heads held high and aim to finish this Pro League campaign in the same fashion,” he added before signing off. The Indian Men’s Hockey Team will take on Germany in their next match at 2145 hrs IST on June 8.

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