Jagdeep Dayal, who was adjudged as the best goalkeeper in the recently concluded Field Marshal K M Cariappa Memorial Hockey Tournament, is all set to guard various citadels, successfully.
This second year student at the Al-Ameen College in Bangalore, has been donning the pads and gloves for the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) South Centre team since 2008. He learnt the nuances of goalkeeping under the SAI coaches I D Prabhakar, Ashwath and Manohar Katige. In the past six to seven years, SAI has been indebted to this daring young lad.
Jagdeep loves the challenge. “Actually, I began as an outside right but somehow goalkeeping attracted me and I took to it. I love the job. For me it is a big challenge and I am always ready for it,” said Jagdeep.
“Goalkeeping is a tough job. But I look at it as a challenge and enjoy the task. If I do well and my team wins, I feel very happy. You cannot win every time but at least, I always endeavour to play well,” he added.
In fact, even in 2011-12, ONGC won the KSHA’s Ozone Group National Hockey League Championship but it was Jagdeep Dayal, playing as usual for SAI, who was adjudged as the best goalkeeper.
Having represented the college and Bangalore University, Jagdeep intends to do well for the state teams and then get into national reckoning. His interception, clearances, charges off the line and his tremendous reflexes have served him and his team well.
“Yeah, I want to represent my country. Not just that, I have always wanted to make a contribution by which India will win an Olympic Games hockey medal. That is my long term but burning ambition and I am trying to work towards it,” Jagdeep said.
Has any goalkeeper inspired him? “Well, yes I have watched Air India’s Adrian D’Souza play and I like his approach to goalkeeping. In Karnataka, I have learnt a lot from Bharat Chhetri,” Jagdeep said.
Facing thunderbolts and rockets that fly from far and near, tackling those zooming scoops off penalty corners calls for courage. But with Jagdeep having plenty of it, can glory be far behind?