Canada Men's National Hockey team to host France in a four-game test series
Photo Credits : Field Hockey Canada

CANADA WRAPS UP SUMMER COMPETITION SCHEDULE WITH EUROPEAN FLAVOUR

In January, Men’s National Team Head Coach, Paul Bundy set an ambitious 2018 touring and hosting schedule for the team. As the calendar flips to into August, Canada is wrapping up their spring/summer of competition with four games against France and will set their sights on the home stretch of 2018.

According to Bundy, getting consistent access to competitive matches in Canada is one of the biggest struggles the team faces when preparing for major competitions. With that in mind, Bundy and the MNT staff set a competition schedule that would not only give them access to more games but also different styles of play prior to their World Cup Appearance in the fall.

“We just finished against Pakistan and China which exposed us to the Asian style of play, the counter attacks, the speed,” he said. “Now we’re going to see France where we’ll see the European style of play. It means we’ll have to work on our team defense a lot more this week.”

The team is coming off the back of a 10-game home series against Pakistan and China that took place during July in West Vancouver and Surrey. The team went 8-1-1 and is hoping to continue their winning ways on the road in Vermont this week. Although the Men’s National Team is hosting this event, because it’s on foreign soil and away from home, Bundy said it has that tour feeling to it.

“It’s interesting. It’s a home environment but away from home,” Bundy said. “It actually feels like we’re playing away from home on a tour, even though we’re the hosts. It’s quite a unique experience.”

The team kicked off 2018 with a successful training and competition tour in Spain. They followed that performance up with a disappointing, yet eye-opening, Commonwealth Games. Bundy said since the wakeup call at Commonwealth Games, the team has stepped up their training and preparation.

“The guys worked on their technical, tactical and physical skills and preparation really hard in May and June,” he said. “These games in July and August are great to test out and see where we are at after a long training block.”

LOOKING FORWARD

The training blocks, the competition environments, the physical preparation. These have all been scheduled meticulously by Bundy and his staff in lead up to the World Cup and Olympic qualification.

“The World Cup is the pinnacle of field hockey,” Bundy said. “Going and performing at events like the World Cup and Olympics is why we play. To have it in India, a place that really values hockey makes it even more special.”

TEAM ROSTER

PLAYER NAME PROVINCE CLUB POSITION
BALRAJ PANESAR BC United Brothers DEF
BRANDON PEREIRA BC United Brothers DEF
GORDON JOHNSTON BC UBC HC DEF
SCOTT TUPPER BC West Vancouver HC DEF
KEEGAN PEREIRA ONT Muilhium HC FWD
MATTHEW SARMENTO BC KHC Leuven FWD
IAIN SMYTHE BC Vancouver Hawks FWD
JAMES KIRKPATRICK BC West Vancouver HC FWD
DEVOHN NORONHA TEIXEIRA ONT Toronto Lion HC FWD
OLIVER SCHOLFIELD BC Klipper THC FWD
ANTONI KINDLER BC West Vancouver HC GK
DAVID CARTER BC United Brothers GK
MARK PEARSON BC West Vancouver HC MID
SUKHI PANESAR BC United Brothers MID
TAYLOR CURRAN BC West Vancouver HC MID
GABE HO-GARCIA BC Muilhium HC MID
JOHN SMYTHE BC Vancouver Hawks MID/DEF
RICHARD HILDRETH BC East Grindstead HC MID/FWD
BREDNEN BISSETT BC NMHC Nijmegen MID/FWD
JAMIE WALLACE BC UBC HC MID/FWD