Field Hockey Canada > Logush and Randhawa bring wealth of experience to Junior National Team

When the Canadian Junior Women’s National Team steps on field Thursday evening for the first match of their series with the United States Under-21 Women in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, they’ll be doing so with some rare experience for such a young squad.

Despite being a team with a roster of players who are being eyed for potential spots at the 2016 Women’s Junior World Cup, which is still nearly two years away, the Women Juniors already boast a veteran leadership group who have been through the junior cycle once before.

Not only are Lauren Logush (Richmond Hill, ON) and Priya Randhawa (Surrey, BC) part of the Women’s Senior Development Squad and train regularly at senior level, but they have also been on senior tours with the Women’s National Team, resulting in Logush having earned 22 official senior caps to date and Randhawa having played in many friendlies. 

It’s safe to say, both will have a big impact on their current teammates in Lancaster, many of whom are several years their junior and will be wearing Canada’s red and white for the first time.

“We both started with the last junior program almost five years ago now,” says Logush who has quickly gone from a young up-and-comer at the Senior level to a wiley vet with the Junior team. “It’s kind of interesting to have it come full circle. Now we’re the leaders, compared to always being the youngest, we’re the oldest. ”

They talk of being the older ones now, but both Randhawa and Logush are still only nineteen years-old and both will likely be key components of Canada’s journey to qualify for and play in the 2016 Women’s Junior World Cup, which will be held in Santiago, Chile from November 23-December 4, 2016. 

“It’s an important cycle, the World Cup is a pretty big deal,” adds the goalkeeper Logush. “There’s a lot of little things that go into it, so I’m really excited to start the journey in that position [of leadership].” 

The label of being a veteran comes with a lot of responsibility. Not only does it require leading a team of international first-timers on the field, but it also encompasses teaching them the ways of a successful international athlete off the field.

“I was very conscious of who went on that trip,” says Women’s National Program director Ian Rutledge. “We felt that it was a good opportunity for Priya and Lauren to be given a lot more match time than they would normal get in the Senior program but it’s also good for their leadership.” 

How to lead a group is something that both Logush and Randhawa have been able to learn in their time spent with the Senior squad.

They have both had the luxury of training and playing alongside the likes of Thea Culley, who is the Women’s National Team’s current cap leader with 121, and captain Kate Gillis, a natural leader who sits at 118 caps.

“When we were the younger ones a few years ago, it really helped when the older ones encouraged you,” says Randawa. “You kind of learn from what they’re doing and what works for them. You base yourself off of them.”

Now is the moment where leaders of the future turn into leaders of the present, and Logush and Randhawa couldn’t be more prepared.

The Canadian Junior Women’s National Team begins its four game series with the United States Under-21 team Thursday evening at 6:00pm PT/9:00pm ET. For the full schedule and results, click here.