If you were among the thousands of Hockey Fans watching the FIH Hockey Series Finals in Valencia at the stadium or on TV, you may have seen the Canadian women’s hockey team put up a stellar of a show.
For World Hockey, it was especially gratifying to see them in action and qualify for the next round of the Olympic qualification with so much emotion.
There’s a lot of sacrifices the Canadian team has had to make and a lot of people have been instrumental in their success to reach here.
One such person is Dutch Hockey Goalkeeping trainer Dennis Van De Pol.
Dennis is currently training the Goalkeepers of the World No. 5 — Indian Men’s Hockey Team in Bengaluru, India but was happy to share his experience of working with the Canadian goalkeepers on the sideline with the Dragflick.
Dennis : I started training the Canadian goalies last year. My first assignment with them was when they did a Europe tour last summer. There I would train them a couple of times a week. It was from there we blended and created a great rapport.
DF : How were you able to combine your job and train the team?
The Canadian team are based in Belgium, so I was able to combine my job as well as my goalie sessions with them.
DF : How was the experience working with the Canadian Goalkeepers?
Working with all their three keepers was a real pleasure! You can really feel their hunt for the Olympics. They are an eager group and aim to become better in every session.
DF : Will you be training the team this year as well?
We do have plans to continue this season, let‘s see how that goes.
DF : What do you think of their performance at the FIH Series Finals in Valencia?
They were brilliant. The Canadian goalkeepers are pretty solid and good and have worked really hard. You will get to see more of their capabilities at the Pan American Games and at the final round of the qualifiers.
DF : Which other national teams have you trained?
I am a partner with the Drijver Goalie Academy in the Netherlands as well as the KNHB (Koninklijke Nederlandse Hockey Bond) and have trained the Dutch youth side.
I have also had the opportunity to be associated with the Pakistan men’s hockey team last year and have trained their goalkeepers.