With Lessons From Australia Tour In Hand, Jarmanpreet Singh All Set For Olympics Debut In Paris

Jarmanpreet Singh missed out on travelling to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, but is almost assured of a place in the team that will fly to Paris. The defender speaks on his changing role in the team, the Australia tour that he says was a big lesson for the team, and how excited he is to make his Olympics debut.
Jarmanpreet Singh

Jarmanpreet Singh. (Photo credit: Instagram @jarmanpreet_singh)

Jarmanpreet Singh missed out on travelling to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics, but is almost assured of a place in the team that will fly to Paris. The defender speaks on his changing role in the team, the Australia tour that he says was a big lesson for the team, and how excited he is to make his Olympics debut.
Excerpts:
How has your role changed from being a defender initially to now being seen a lot in attack?
There hasn't been a lot of change in the role, so to say. It's just that I have to join in the attack a lot more now. It is nice for the team and for me as well since I like to play attacking hockey.
The Australia tour might not have gone according to plan. What are some of the lessons you have taken away?
It was a great learning for us ahead of the Paris Olympics. There are several areas in our defence as well as our attack where we still need to improve. That is what we are focusing on in the camp right now and looking to improve on those points.
How excited are you for Paris Olympics?
There is definitely a lot of excitement but it needs to be kept in mind that Paris Olympics is a major event and we will be representing the country. We want to give our best performance out there.
After bronze in Tokyo, the team's target must be to change the colour of the medal. Your pool has Belgium and Australia, so it will not be easy. How are you preparing for the big challenge?
Every team has a different structure and different plans of playing. We are not focusing on any one team but are for preparing for all of them, because the way Australia, Belgium or the other teams play the game is very different from one another. We are working on everything overall, given that we will face the five teams in the pool and maybe in the knockouts as well.
You said during the FIH Pro League that you need tough matches ahead of Olympics. Has the Australia tour served the purpose?
Yes definitely, because they are a very good team. The series was our best opportunity to play a good team ahead of Paris Olympics. When we play a good team, our strengths and weaknesses are revealed more. There is definitely the disappointment but we are a lot focused on the Olympics.
How are you preparing on an individual basis, given there is still two months ahead of Paris?
Every player in the team has his own responsibilities. Now we have the time to not just get better as a team, but also improve our own performances, individually.
After the Australia whitewash, what were the conversations within the team like?
We have a meeting after every match, where we discuss what we have done well in the game and what we haven't and where we have to improve in the next game. I won't say the tour was very bad, because we kept improving every match. We want to continue doing that till the Olympics. And off the field as well, we keep communicating with each other on what we expect from the other player. There is always a nice environment.
This will be your first time at the Olympics. Have you spoken to the players who were in Tokyo on how to handle that pressure of the biggest stage?
Yes, there are quite a few experienced players in our team, like Sree (PR Sreejesh) paaji. They have been telling all of us first-timers that the Olympics environment is very different. The pressure there is on a different level. They tell us that anything can happen at that stage and we have to be prepared for every situation. Its good that we have such experienced seniors with us who can help us improve at every step.
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