November 12, 2009
|Courtesy: Argentine Hockey Federation|
Field Hockey Canada and head coach Alan Brahmst released on Thursday the names of the eighteen players, seven staff, and two reserves that will make up Canada’s national men’s team for the FIH Champions Challenge scheduled for December 6th to December 13, 2009 in Salta, Argentina.
Team Canada are fresh off playing a series against the United States and the always tough Team India. The two events saw 26 different athletes don the maple leaf bringing some much needed experience to Canada’s youth as well as a timely tune-up for the veterans.
“We have much work ahead of us to continue player development and optimize our performance in Delhi, but we’re on the right track” stated Brahmst after narrowing Canada’s World Cup selection squad from 32 to 23 players Monday afternoon.
Joining Canada at the Champions Challenge will be South Africa, Pakistan, New Zealand, China, India, Belgium, and the host Argentines. The team will depart on November 27th and open the tournament against Pakistan on December 6th.
The latest victory against one of these teams came against South Africa during pool play at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing where the Canucks earned a 5 – 3 win. This is the type of performance in a major international event Canada will be looking for to further their preparations for the World Cup beginning in February 2010 in India.
Canada is currently ranked 11th in the world by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
Players of note on the team include two-time Olympians Rob Short of Victoria, British Columbia and Ken Pereira of Unionville, Ontario. Short and Pereira each have 291 caps (senior international games), the most of all current players.
Also going to Argentina are 2008 Olympians Ranjeev Deol, Wayne Fernandes, Connor Grimes, Mark Pearson, Gabbar Singh, Scott Tupper, and Paul Wettlaufer. Two individuals making their major senior international tournament debut are goaltender Antoni Kindler and teenager Adam Froese.
The following are the 18 players who have been selected to represent Canada in the Champions Challenge in Salta, Argentina: