With less than a month to go before the start of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, the Canadian Women’s National Field Hockey Team has already made camp in the United Kingdom and is set to begin a final pre-Commonwealth test in Ireland.
The 2014 Four Nations Invitational Tournament in Dublin, Ireland features the host Irish, and teams from New Zealand and Chile in addition to the Canadian team, and serves as final preparation before the Commonwealth Games, which begin with the Opening Ceremony on July 23.
“In the final stages of our preparation, the Irish 4-Nations, provides the team the perfect opportunity to refine our game,” says Women’s National Team Coach, Ian Rutledge.
The sixteen athletes who makeup Canada’s Commonwealth Games field hockey team have been joined for the test series by two additional player, Kathleen Leahy (Victoria, B.C.) and Tegan Stairs (Kitchener, ON).
“Playing against three very strong teams, including world number four ranked and fellow Commonwealth Games pool rival, New Zealand, is vital for our development in a live competition,” adds Rutledge.
Canada will play three round robin games, one against each opponent, with the first on Saturday, July 12 against Chile.
“The opportunity to measure up against fellow Pan American opponents, Chile, is ideal, just over twelve months out from the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games,” says Rutledge. “We also know that Ireland are a well prepared team and are always tough to play, especially at home.”
After facing each team once in the round robin stage of the tournament, Canada will play in either the 1st place match or 3rd place match, depending on results and rankings from the round robin portion.
After the completion of the Four Nations Tournament, Canada will head to Glasgow and officially begin to focus on the Commonwealth Games.
The Canadians face India in their first pool match on July 24th at 2:00pm local time.