Canadian junior men’s field hockey players are going to have a lot to do over the next week as a weekend tournament and series with the United States take place in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.
This weekend, June 19th-21st, in Surrey, much of the Canadian Junior Development Squad will take part in India Field Hockey Club’s junior tournament at the Tamanawis fields.
The tournament, which can be watched at teampunjabi.com, will be used as a way for Men’s National Team staff to evaluate junior athletes before a four-game series with the United States Under-21 team next week in Surrey and West Vancouver.
Competing in the tournament will be teams created by the Canandian National Team staff and include an Under-21 team form Ontario, and Under-18 from B.C., and U.S. Under-21, and two all-star teams.
“This is the equivalent to our National Championships for the Under 21 age group,” says Canadian Junior Head Coach Paul Bundy. “It gives us the opportunity to look at the best players in the country in one place. It also gives us the opportunity to identify the athletes just outside the Junior Development Squad, and see if they can earn an invite to this summer’s National Camp.”
Coaching and evaluation will be done by Bundy, Aaron Guest, Indy Sehmbi, Geoff Matthews, Scott Sandison, and Reggie Pereira, giving the athletes exposure to National Level instruction and feeddback.
The Canadian Under-21 roster for the series with the U.S. will be named after the India Club competition. Matches with the States take place on June 23rd, 26th, and 27th in Surrey, and on the 24th at Rutledge Field in West Vancouver.
The week ahead is a key opportunity for the Men’s Junior National Team to prepare for the Junior World Cup, which will take place in India in December 2016.
Canada will host its World Cup regional qualifier the 2016 Junior Pan American Championships, next May in Toronto, Ontario.
In addition to the competitions this weekend in B.C., the Canadian junior men will attend a National Development Camp this summer in Brampton, Ontario.
The National Camp will not only give the athletes yet another opportunity to develop and the staff another chance to evaluate talent, but it will be held alongside the 2015 Pan American Games, which take place in Toronto from July 10th-26th.
After the National Camp a 2016 Junior Development Squad of approximately 30 athletes will be named. It is those athletes who will compete for a spot on the team that will compete for 2016 Junior World Cup qualification.