Gurgaon:Drag flicker Jugraj Singh is so inspired by his new role of guiding younger players that he believes he can actually take it up as a full time option.
His life might seem like a big tragedy - promising drag flciker who never played for india after a terrible accdient in 2003.
However jugraj does not think of it that way. That's why he's turned to something new to keep him going as he keeps up his quest to play for India once again.
He so inspired by his new role of guiding younger players, that he believes he can actually take it up as a full time option. So much so, he's willing to enroll himself in a coaching course to teach the juniors what he's best at!
In his heydays, Jugraj's flamboyant and power-packed drag flicks rattled many a goal-keeper. The 24-year-old has been called in to guide the country's junior side as a penalty corner specialist, before they leave for an 8-nation tournament in Germany on August 1.
It's the first time a specialist from the senior side has been called in to play guru to the juniors.
"When I came the first day, the coach explained to me my responsibilty. The best thing is that I am a drag flicker, and also a defender, so I can share my feelings and experiences with the boys. They want to know and learn and I think that's the best part," said Jugraj Singh.
After a major road accident in 2003 Jugraj Singh's 'India journey' came to an abrupt halt, even before it had time to really take off. Now the extraordinary drag flicker has set aside his national aspirations to make time for generation next.
"When I was in the juniors, there was no expert for short corners, no drag flick specialists. Now I have good experience, and these boys are lucky to gain what we didn't gain in our prime time. It's a great opportunity to share my experience with boys and am very happy with that," he said.
For the juniors, who have a packed season ahead including the Asia Cup next year and the World Cup in 2009, it's been all gain and no loss, and they're asking for more!
"The presence of a senior player like Jugraj is very important. It's very motivating," said Sreejesh, goalie.
"Apart from drag flicks, he has given us good training in defence as well," said Sarwanjeet, striker.
India doesn't exactly have a tradition of drag flickers. But with international teams becoming more and more dependent on players with specific skills, camps like this one become all the more important. The involvement of specialists like Jugraj Singh therefore is a big step towards reaching international standards.