The 18-year-old spoke highly of the experienced Indian forward.

A seedbed of hockey players in the country, Odisha’s Sundargarh district is home to another one of the Indian junior men’s hockey team’s jewels with Sudeep Chirmako also hailing from the region.

A winner of the silver medal at the 3rd Youth Olympic Games held in Argentina in 2018, Sudeep Chirmako is a quick and dynamic young forward who has a knack for goals and is a player who is looking forward to making his parents proud.

“It is a wonderful phase in my life and in my young career. I’ve had the honour and privilege to have represented my country at the highest level with the junior team, and want to keep working hard to one day be able to play for the senior team,” said Sudeep Chirmako, who was the top-scorer for India at the 3rd Youth Olympic Games with 11 goals.

“I have a dream which I want to fulfil for my parents, and that is to play for the country for many years. I come from a region which is known for its hockey, and several players have represented India, and I wish to do the same by excelling in my duties with the national team.”

A product of the Panposh Sports Hostel in Rourkela, the young forward is also well aware of the challenge in front of him. He remarked, “I think the best thing about our sport at the moment is that there is so much competition for places, even at the junior level. We’ve got so many talented players coming through from across the country, and what I want to do is pick up and learn stuff from all of them, and make myself better.”

“I think if you want to be a Forward player for the Indian team, you need to have everything in your game. I know it is a huge challenge, but I am ready to do everything to improve everyday and earn my position in whichever team I am selected to play in.”

He made his junior team debut for India at the 8-Nations Invitational Tournament held in Spain in 2018. Along with accolades at the domestic level, Sudeep also has to his name another international silver medal which he won at the 9th Sultan of Johor Cup in 2019.

The youngster also expressed that he idolizes Akashdeep Singh, and hopes to play alongside the experienced forward one day.

“I think the area I play in on the field is very similar to what Akashdeep Singh does for the senior team. He’s always very quick with the ball, and his positioning and off-the-ball runs are always very useful for the team, so I always keep a close eye on him, and I hope to one day be able to play alongside him for the Indian Team,” he concluded.