The 22-year-old will reunite with Manpreet Singh and Co, who will join the national camp following a successful tour of Argentina

India defender Nilam Sanjeep Xess is relaxed about cementing a place in India XI before rejoining the 22-member squad who returned from a victorious Argentina tour.

He and ten other teammates have already been training at the SAI Centre in Bengaluru in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. These include senior pros like  Chinglensana Singh Kangujam, SV Sunil and Ramandeep Singh.

The Indian team’s brilliant performances following their return to international hockey after a year’s gap delighted Nilam.

“We showed that, on our day, we can match up with any side”, he says adding that the team is in good shape right now and we have continue to build on this momentum. It was good to see some of the senior players like Manpreet bhai and Rupinder bhai back in the team and perform so well,” said Nilam.

The 22-year-old understands that with the team in fine form, he might have to wait before adding to the 14 caps he has earned for India so far. “Of course, it is a part and parcel of the game for any young player,” he weighed in. 

Nilam gives the credit to chief coach Graham Reid and the senior players. “They never make you feel any less important because you’re young”, he says. He says that his focus is on making the best use of the opportunities he receives, whether in training or on the pitch.

Nilam has now set his eyes on Tokyo and winning an Olympic gold. “I have been really pushing myself over the past year, even when there were no matches. We will continue to work on getting better as a team before flying to Tokyo,” concludes Nilam Sanjeep Xess. 

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