The defender has been nominated for the FIH Rising Star of the Year.

One of the newest additions to the Indian Men’s Hockey Team, Sanjay was recently nominated at the 2021-2022 FIH Star Awards for the FIH Rising Star of the Year (Men). The young defender was the Vice-Captain of the Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team that finished fourth in the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, scoring 8 goals, the most for the team.  

Reflecting on the nomination, Sanjay said, “I am elated to have been nominated for the FIH Rising Star of the Year (Men) award. But more than me, this nomination is down to the full team effort as we have all been working together and without everyone’s participation, getting recognised would be difficult.”  

Nomination for the top most award

Sanjay, who is well known for his abilities as a drag-flicker, also added that recognition for the hard work always feels good. “I am grateful that all the efforts we put in during the hours of training and the games are recognised through a nomination for the top most award in the sport of hockey. It always motivates a young player like me to keep up the intensity as there could be more recognition, but also it will translate into better results for the National team.”  

Sanjay has also recently transitioned to the senior team, has continued with his good run of form, and played a big role in the Men’s FIH Hockey 5s, scoring four goals as India finished as the champions.  

“The Men’s FIH Hockey 5s tournament was a good experience, the format is new, so it is challenging as well. This was also my first time with the senior team, and I enjoyed it. That we finished as champions made it even better.”  

Hope to settle in quickly

For Sanjay, the next target will be to impress the Indian Men’s Hockey Team coaches led by Chief Coach Graham Reid, as they prepare for the important 2022-23 FIH Hockey Men’s Pro League.  

“I hope to settle into the Indian Men’s Hockey Team set up quickly and make my mark. The only thing I can do for that is to work hard in training every day and try to be the best version of myself at each training session,” he signed off.   

In the first phase of the 2022-23 FIH Men’s Hockey Pro League, India will play a total of six games, three each against New Zealand and Spain from 28 October to 6 November in Bhubaneshwar in India.

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