Field Hockey Canada > Field Hockey Canada announces Patrick Tshutshani as new Men’s National Team Head Coach

Former Field Hockey Canada NextGen leader returns in senior coaching position

Field Hockey Canada today announces the return of Patrick Tshutshani. Patrick first arrived in Canada in 2019 to lead the formation of FHC’s Women’s NextGen system. During his first tenure, he embedded himself in the hockey community across Canada. He led the Junior Women National Team, as well as assisting with both the Senior Women and Senior Men. Since January 2022, Patrick has been with Hockey India as part of their Senior Women’s coaching staff.

He is now being welcomed back to the Canadian hockey community as the Head Coach of the Men’s National Team.

“We are delighted to welcome Patrick back to Field Hockey Canada. He has over a decade of international coaching experience, including a working knowledge with our men’s squad, so he is primed and ready for this new challenge,” said Susan Ahrens, CEO of Field Hockey Canada.

“Beyond his obvious coaching credentials, in Patrick we are welcoming back a member of staff who is humble, generous of character and a team player aligned to the organization’s vision, values and plan. It is for these qualities I am particularly happy to welcome him back,” Ahrens said.

Tshutshani grew up in Lady Grey, South Africa, a rural town in the Eastern Cape, with a population of around seven thousand. He moved to Johannesburg for school and discovered his passion for hockey, among other sports. He gravitated to the coaching side of the game and found a home behind the bench working with the provincial junior athletes in his early twenties. He then made the jump to working with the national junior teams in South Africa.

He worked as a video analyst at the 2009 Junior World Cup in Boston when he was only 25 years old. He was an assistant coach at the 2013 Junior World Cup in Germany and then was the head coach at the Junior World Cup in 2016 in Santiago.

In 2019, Tshutshani took the role as Women’s NextGen director and Junior Women’s Head Coach in Canada. He led the junior national team to a Pan American Gold in 2021, qualifying them for the Junior World Cup.

Ahrens said, “In his previous role with Field Hockey Canada, Patrick delivered a continental championship and set up the NextGen program for success. I have every faith that Patrick will help deliver more success at the senior level.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tshutshani and other Field Hockey Canada staff led the return to play progression for all national teams. It was here that we worked hands on with the senior men’s national team. For him, the move into senior men’s hockey is an exciting one and it’s a position he’s ready for.

“I believe there is so much potential in Canadian hockey. Athletes are highly driven to succeed and are extremely hard-working individuals.,” Tshutshani said. “I’m looking forward to working with the athletes, staff and community as we strive to reach our full potential. Having said this, it is a long-term project that with meticulous planning has the potential to be a successful and sustainable program.”

The Men’s National Team will be traveling to Tshutshani’s home country, South Africa, for the Nations Cup in November. It is a short turnaround from appointment to coaching in a tournament but Tshutshani is looking forward to building a strong accountable team right from the get-go.

“Leading the team comes with great responsibility and pride to ensure that the team represents Canada with the outmost distinction,” he said. “We want to establish our identity and culture. We want to establish our ethos through our thoughts and actions on and off the field.”

The Red Caribou will return from Nations Cup and will be pushing and preparing in 2023 for the Olympic Qualifying Pan American Championships. The team will look to Tshutshani to provide that leadership spark and guide the team towards the next generation of success.

“The passion and desire for the athletes to excel is clearly evident and the coaches play an important role in facilitating this process,” said Tshutshani. “For me it is important that the Men’s National Team is constantly challenged in the training environment, hold each other accountable, create an environment for ongoing decision making (ongoing learning) and have the freedom to express their respective skillsets.”

The Men’s National Team has a training and selection camp October 24-28. Field Hockey Canada is thrilled to announce and welcome Patrick Tshutshani as the Men’s National Team Head Coach. The organization couldn’t be more excited.

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