Starting today, the FIH Hockey Series Finals will witness 8 teams battle for supremacy in front of hockey-crazy spectators at the iconic Bukit Jalil Hockey Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Arriving straight from the Euro Hockey League championship in Eindhoven, where he represented the German club – HTC Uhlenhorst Mülheim, Canadian player Keegan Pereira knows how important this tournament is for the team.
Keegan, who was born in India, and moved to Canada with his family when he was seven, is the focal point of the Canadian squad, aiming for the next round of Olympic Qualification through this tournament.
The side which has an exuberance of master players such as Scott Tupper, Mark Pearsons, who have registered over 250+ caps for Canada, most definitely invoke expectations of a top-two finish.
While putting up a great performance is on team Canada’s mind, Keegan Pereira emphasised that their immediate goal is to make it to the finals.
“We have to win every match in the Pool Stage, our priority is to make it to the finals,” Keegan told The Dragflick.
“It is an Olympic Qualifier and every team here has come with an intention of winning and we do not want to take any team lightly, be it Wales, Belarus or Austria,” expressed Keegan who has played 1x Olympics and 2x World Cups for Canada.
Canada are grouped in Pool A, will first face off against Wales on 26 April.
While the Canadian team has not faced Wales in a major tournament for quite sometime now, Keegan stated that a win in their first match will set them on the right course.
“We haven’t played Wales in a real match in a long time, but judging by their recent form at the Commonwealth Games last year, they will be a tough team to get past. It’s always good to get off to a winning start in any tournament, but we have to be really sharp.” added the 27-year-old.
Action begins today, at the Bukit Jalil National Hockey Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, where Canada takes on Wales at 16:00 Hours Malaysian time.