Field Hockey Canada > Canadian men looking for best finish ever at Commonwealth Games

When the Canadian Men’s National Field Hockey Team takes to the pitch against the Republic of South Africa on Saturday in the fifth place match at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, they will be doing so with a chance to make history.

Since 1998, when field hockey was first introduced at the Commonwealth Games, Canada has finished no better than sixth. That result game in 2002 in Manchester, England.

At the inagural tournament, in 1998 in Kuala Lampur, the Canadians fell just short of making the medal matches after a highly competitive and emotional 2-1 loss to host Malaysia. The best they could have finished was fifth, but there were no classification matches.

On Saturday in Glasgow, the Canadians have a shot to officially claim fifth place, which would be their best finish ever.

“There has been a considerable amount to be happy with throughout this tournament,” says Canadian head coach Anthony Farry. “We have been able to control possession for good periods and are creating scoring chances.”

While converting on those chances likely would have resulted in Canada playing for a medal, the opportunity to post a best-ever result is, if not equally as satisfying, a close second.

“South Africa are a very good team as seen by their performance in the recent World Cup,” Farry continues. “We have a great deal of respect for them.”

“For us to be successful we need to execute when it counts. These types of games rarely present too many chances so we are going to need to be clinical.”

No matter the result, the Canadians will have had a successful Games, having pushed top teams like England and New Zealand. This comes after a second place finish at the Champions Challenge I in Malaysia and is a great sign for the Canadians who are looking to clinch a 2016 Olympic berth at next summer’s Pan American Games in Toronto.

“We’ve learnt a great deal about competing the multi-sport environment which is going to hold us in good stead next year.”

The game between Canada and South Africa starts at 6:30amPST/9:30amEST on Saturday.

Click here for the Canada’s men’s full Commonwealth Games schedule and results.

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