Bonjour from Brussels,
This is the first installment in what we are hoping will be a weekly blog on our Facebook page, offering our family and friends back home a quick glimpse into life here in Europe as we have boys playing on 6 different teams across the top leagues of Belgium, England and France.
I was fortunate enough to find a spot playing alongside National Team Captain Scott Tupper at Royal Racing Club de Brussels and the set up here couldn’t be much better. The club itself has a long and proud history and will be celebrating its 125 year anniversary next season. The facilities are equally impressive and we not only have a permanent tribune next to the main hockey pitch but also our very own street sign!
The team itself has been super welcoming and we have a nice mix of Belgians, Canadians and even 3 Irish lads. The only downside to this is that it’s often difficult for the Belgians to understand the Irish when they speak English so Tups and I are usually called upon to be emergency interpreters, better equipped to decipher the confusing Irish lingo.
On the pitch we have had some successes already as we had a great last preseason weekend in England at East Grinstead Hockey Club, going 3 – 0 and winning the inaugural Five Feathers Invitational Trophy. Was especially fun for Scott and I as we got to catch up with Kevin Pereira, a fellow Canadian manning the pipes for Reading HC this season.
Back in Belgium we have started the Division Honneur (DH for short) somewhat cautiously with hard fought draws on the road against Braxgata (3-3) and Daring (2-2), not terrible results by any means but tough not to have picked up a W considering how well we have been playing at times. Overall though we know it is a long season and as long as we pick up the 3 points this weekend in our first home match vs Leuven we are still on track for a top 4 spot and berth in the playoffs!
Outside of hockey I’m quite busy coaching youngsters in the club and am beginning French lessons on Monday, so I’m quite confident the next blog post you see from me will be in perfect French!
Thanks to everyone for their support back home and huge congratulations to our U-18 boys for their recent Silver Medal in the Youth Olympic Games, very impressive and hopefully a sign of things to come.
Follow the Men’s National Team on Facebook for more blog posts and photos.
To support the Men’s National Team with a tax-receipted donation, visit their Chimp page here.