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‘Never doubted my abilities to come back into Indian set up’, says Preeti Dubey

Preeti Dubey recently called back in India's 33-member squad that is currently training at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru.

‘Never doubted my abilities to come back into Indian set up’, says Preeti Dubey

Preeti Dubey last played for India in the Hockey World League semifinal in 2017. (Photo credit: Hockey India) 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 21 April 2024 6:28 AM GMT

Preeti Dubey, the dynamic forward, was named in the 33-member Indian women's hockey squad that is currently training at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru.

The 60-member assessment squad that reported to camp on April 1 was spruced up after selection trials that were held on the 6th and 7th of April 2024.

Out of 33, one name that stood out was - Preeti Dubey. The 25-year-old, who hails from Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh and made her last appearance for India in the Hockey World League semifinal in 2017, clawed her way back into the national setup after impressing the selectors and coaches in the assessment camp.

Her selection comes after she put up an impressive performance in the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024, held in Pune.

Speaking about her inclusion, Preeti said, “It feels amazing to come back in the national setup. But this is just the first step. All my efforts and hard work have paid off. I would like to thank my family members, and all my coaches who supported me, motivated me and stood by me in difficult times. I always believed in myself that the right time would come and I never doubted my abilities and potential to come back into the national setup.”

Recalling the struggles that she overcame, she said, “I have seen a lot of ups and downs in the past few years but I believe that because of what happened, it has made me mentally strong. When the lockdown happened in 2020, I faced a lot of problems because we couldn’t play Nationals and due to that I couldn’t get my allocated leave from my job at Centre Railway. That one year was the toughest for me. I used to work for eight hours and then come back to my room, and prepare my own food as I was living in Mumbai without my family. But every day, I used to make time for my fitness and training from 8-9 pm. I made sure that my fitness level never went down.”

“My next aim is to make the cut for the 18-member squad, gain my confidence and help my team win medals and accolades on an international circuit. My main focus is now on the 2028 Summer Olympics,” she added.

Preeti also shared how she kept herself motivated each day and how she pushed herself to improve her game and made a comeback to the Indian team.

She shared, “My father calls me every day and he says that I have what it takes to make a comeback. All of my coaches have always told me that I have the potential and when so many people put their trust in me, it gives me that extra motivation to do better and it keeps me going even under adverse circumstances.”

“I have a diary where I keep writing my dreams in the form of drawings, how can I fulfil them and each day before I hit the field for my training, I look at the diary and it just reminds me of the struggles that I have overcome in the past few years,” the 25-year-old added.

Known for her agility, strategic prowess, and commitment to the field, she brings a wealth of experience and leadership to the team. Having previously represented the nation in several national and international tournaments, including the Olympics and World Cup, her presence is set to inspire the performance of her teammates.

In 2016, Preeti was one of the youngest members of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team that qualified for their maiden Olympic Games in Rio. She also led the 18-member Indian Junior Women’s Hockey Team in the U-23 Six Nation Tournament, held in Belgium in 2018.

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