Chandigarh: Indian Hockey is on verge of achieving its lost dominance in the hockey world, believes Dipsen Tirkey, vice-captain of the junior hockey team which recently won the Junior World Cup.
He is confident that the present pool of players like Harmanpreet, Ajit Kumar Pandey, Hardik, S K Utthapa and he himself has the potential to bring back the days of Indian supremacy in the sport. “Hockey India League has changed the way we used play the game. Now, more efforts are put in the physical fitness with the technicalities and skills of the game,” said Tirkey. Dipsen made to the headlines four years ago when at a tender age of 14 years he was picked in HIL auction by Kalinga Lancers.
“The four years with Kalinga Lancers have provided me with the best platforms. HIL has brought modern hockey to the country. We are now more aware of the playing styles of the European, Australian and other form of playing style in hockey. Also it provides us the exposure and experience of the players like Glenn Turner etc.,” said Tirkey, who comes the country’s most economically backward area. Dipsen Tirkey hails from the tribal belt of Orissa. This is one of the pockets of the country were Hockey not only rivals the popularity of cricket but also take overs its dominance. “Hockey is the sports preferred in my area,” states Trikey. Years before him Dilip Tirkey, one of the greatest Indian players and former captain of national hockey team also came from the region. “Dilip Tirkey once visited to our area, from that time onwards I got the inspiration to take hockey professionally,” said Dipsen.
From that time onwards Dipnes has never looked backwards. He joined the hockey camps and hostels to groom himself as a player. The biggest breakthrough came in 2011 when without making his appearance in junior hockey team he made to the financially rich Hockey India League. The next year he was picked in the junior national team, which he two years later in June, 2016. The defender talks highly of HIL. “It not only gave us a platform but also brought close to the type of game which is being played at present,” added Dipsen.
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