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Men’s National Indoor Team At The World Cup

February 7, 2011 | Field Hockey Canada |

Canadian Men’s Indoor Team Ready For FIH Indoor World Cup

February 7, 2011

POZNAN- The Canadian Men’s Indoor Hockey team are in the final stages of preparation for the FIH 2011 Indoor World Cup.  The team arrived in the host city, Poznan, Poland, on Saturday night after a long train journey that took them from Vienna, Austria through the Czech Republic and finally to the host nation. 

Canada had a productive training week in the “Imperial City”, training on a local indoor pitch four times and playing three exhibition games over the course of the week.  This gave the men an opportunity to work on different tactics and formations, which will be critical to their success at the World Cup.  The ability to centralize overseas and acclimatize to the time zone change has also put the team in good shape to perform at their best come Tuesday (Feb. 8), when they open the tournament against the European bronze-medallist Holland. 

One day after their arrival in Poznan, the Canadians held a one-hour practice on Sunday morning, and had their final exhibition match against the Polish club champions Grunwald later that afternoon.  The teams played three 15-minute periods in a facility that was around a half-hour commute outside of the city. 

Grunwald, who were made up of retired national-team members, opened the scoring to begin the game, but the Canadians came back with a couple of goals to take the lead.  Eventually, the men held a one-goal lead at the final buzzer of the third stanza, and converted a penalty corner to take the contest 5-3. 

Canada will get the opportunity to practice on the World Cup court at 5:00 p.m. local time on Monday afternoon, in what will be their final on-field preparation before their date with the Dutch the next day. 

For veteran goalkeeper and team captain Shankar Premakanthan, Tuesday’s game will also be a momentous occasion.  The Ottawa native will be one of just seven players who have competed in all three Indoor World Cups when he steps in the net for Canada. 

The Canadians are also the youngest team in the tournament, with an average age of 23.5.  Forward and Calgary native Balmeet Kullar is the youngest player on the men’s side at 16 years of age. 

By: Adam Ali

For more information on the FIH Indoor World Cup, please click here.