Hardik Singh wanted to ply his trade as a professional in the Dutch League back in 2017 when his uncle Jugraj Singh’s advice of focussing on national team selection changed the course of young Indian midfielder’s career.

Jugraj, one of the most feared drag-flickers during is heyday motivated nephew Hardik, who is now aiming to become an “evolved player” with an aim to seal a spot in the national team for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The talented player from Khusropur village near Jalandhar in Punjab said he was on the verge of giving up his dream of playing for India in 2017.

“I went from the sub-junior level to the senior level at a good pace after I joined the Mohali Hockey Academy as a 14-year-old. However, after a few years, I found myself in a situation where I lost confidence about being a regular player in the Indian squad,” he said.

“I thought about going to the…

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