Experienced midfielder Chinglensana Singh Kangujam will wear the India colours after a year-long break due to injury. He sustained a fracture on his right ankle during the 9th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2019 (A Division) where he had led the team to the title.
"It was a very difficult phase for me. I was not allowed to use my lower body much which resulted in me gaining about 5-6 kilos. I was not sure if I could come back again for the Indian team," recalled Chinglensana who was last seen in India jersey at the FIH Men's World Cup in December 2018.
It was not until October last year that Chinglensana held the stick once again. "I didn't play hockey for about eight months but I never gave up hope. During this period I ensured I stayed fit, followed a systematic routine provided by our Scientific Advisor Robin Arkel which involved gym, cycling and I followed a strict diet. It was important to ensure my weight was under control and as such I had given up on rice completely," he said.
With Chief Coach Graham Reid recalling him into the squad for the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League 2020 matches against the Netherlands over the weekend, Chinglensana feels he needs to give his 100 per cent for the team and also prove his worth again.
"I am happy to earn the India jersey again. It is important for me to make this opportunity count and give my 100 per cent in the midfield. With a good talent pool available, every player has to prove his place in the team and I am no different. I see this as a fresh start for me and I am looking forward to a good start against the Netherlands," stated the Arjuna Awardee from Manipur.
India will take on the Netherlands on 18 and 19 January at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar.