"Regular practice, a sedulous diet plan, and being conscientious about fitness reflect on the mat"- Monu Goyat. This routine has helped him be the most expensive player in PKL's tournament history till Season 7, and he has his upbringing to thank for it.
Childhood and Early days
Born on 16 October 1992 in Hissar, Haryana to a family whose primary occupation was agriculture, Monu showed his potential at a young age. He was brought up in Kungar village in the Bhiwani district of Haryana by his "chachaji" Vijender Singh. Monu Goyat started playing kabaddi as fun, at the age of ten along with his friends in his village grounds. Being a national level player himself, his Uncle Vijender Singh recognized young Monu’s talent and made sure he got the proper training to become an exceptional kabaddi player. Monu Goyat never saw his Uncle play a professional game. He had heard of his exploits in the past and how he could not compete in the Asian Games due to recurring injuries and personal predicaments.
Under Vijender's tutelage, he joined the under -19 team of his school. His agility and skill had already earned high acclaim from his colleagues. In 2011 he used this opportunity to enlist in the army and got recruited as a Havildar under sports quota.
Jasvir Singh, the coach of the Services, taught him the discipline which the sport required. He played for the Services in various domestic games and other national tournaments across the country. These games helped him put things in perspective on what was required to become a player in the PKL. He worked hard for each game and took it in as a lesson. During his time in the Services, he was not able to compete in the first two seasons of the PKL due to regulations. In 2016 during the third season, two teams did not show up for the lucky draw held to select the Services players. This disheartened his dream to join the PKL. Few months later his consistent performance finally got the attention it actually deserved.
Monu Goyat Pro Kabaddi League Career
He was called in for the fourth season of the PKL to play for the Bengal Warriors. Now all he had to do was prove his mettle. He scored 59 points from 13 matches placing himself in the list of top 15 raiders of the season. One step at a time Goyat was gaining attention and Ram Mehar Singh, coach of Patna Pirates and the Services, full well knew about his potential and took him to Patna Pirates for Season 5 where 12 teams competed for the PKL trophy for the first time in PKL History. Goyat, along with Pardeep Narwal, was a lethal threat for the defenders of all opposition teams. His 191 points in 26 matches and the support he provided for Pardeep helped Patna Pirates secure the title for the third time in a row. As the season concluded he moved up the ladder to the fourth-best raider of the season and earned the tag ‘Silent Killer’. His success rate in do or die raids was another key factor that helped his rise. In such a short time, Monu Goyat had gained prevalence among the bidders of the various teams in PKL and all the coaches wanted him to represent their team.
In Season 6, Haryana Steelers from their total budget of around Rs 4Cr bought him on to their team for a whopping sum of Rs1.51Cr. From earning Rs 11000 from local tournaments in his village, he became the most expensive player in the tournament's history. He was also the most expensive non-cricketing sportsperson of the year. In season 6, unfortunately, he was unable to prove his capability as the lead raider for the Steelers, due to injuries and lack of support and squad depth. For season 7, Haryana Steelers decided to retain Vikas Khandola and Kuldeep Singh, Monu was released onto the auction pool as it was difficult for the team to manage the budget retaining him.The UP Yodhas picked him to be their star raider for Rs. 93 lakhs. The calm demeanour of Monu is what separates him from the rest of the frolicky raiders. He is exceptional with taking Bonus points, Running Hand touch and Turning skills. The strength of Monu Goyat is in his exquisite Running Hand touch and superb Turning skills along with great awareness on the mat, especially during do or die raids. On his day, he can demolish any strong defense easily by consistently picking points.
After a decent performance in Season 5, the next event for Goyat was the Federation Cup. He scored the crucial points to break the deadlock against Karnataka and pushed Services to the lead in the final minutes of the tie which helped Services clinch the title. After beginning the year with a bang, the big leagues came calling, representing India in the 2018 Kabaddi masters tournament. When the squad came out for the game, Monu Goyat replaced Pardeep Narwal in the roster. The Indian team led by Ajay Thakur hammered Iran and won the game for India with over a 20 point lead. Monu played an important part supporting the raiding unit whenever called upon.