Field Hockey Canada > Men’s National Team coaches lead connected group towards Pan American Games

Patrick Tshutshani and Geoff Matthews highlight importance of unified men’s hockey program in Canada

In 2021, Patrick Tshutshani led the Canadian Junior Women’s National Team to Pan American gold. Two years on, he is hoping for the same result this October in Santiago as he leads the Men’s National Team to the upcoming Pan American Games. 

Tshutshani first arrived in Canada from South Africa in 2019 to lead the construction of the 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. After a 9-month stint with Hockey India as part of their Senior Women’s coaching staff in 2022, he returned to Canada as the head coach of the Red Caribou and has been leading the MNT for almost a year now.  

An experienced program and team leader, Tshutshani is known for his hard work, system building and connectivity between the senior and junior programs. He is well-regarded and admired by athletes and coaches of all levels and works closely with Assistant Coach, and JMNT Head Coach, Geoff Matthews to build the depth of the program.  

For Tshutshani, building a successful short- and long-term program takes time and he’s already excited about the progress the program has made. 

“My immediate task was to grow our squad depth and really assess where we are as a program, building on the good foundations that have been established previously and bringing in new ideas and ways of training,” he said. “The key for me is that we get better each day. It’s about doing the best we can, with what we have, with where we are. We will continue to push the envelope as we develop as a team.” 


Working alongside Tshutshani, Geoff Matthews has been a staple in the Canadian men’s program for several years. He was an assistant coach at the previous two Junior World Cups and took over as Head Coach from Indy Sehmbi after the 2021 Junior World Cup, in which Canada finished 13th place, beating USA and Chile in the classification bracket.   

Matthews led the junior team to a silver medal finish at the 2023 Junior Pan American Championship in the spring and is building towards the 2023 Junior World Cup slated for this December in Malaysia. His dual roles as men’s assistant and junior head coach allows him to support the connectivity and alignment between the programs. 

Patrick and I have very similar philosophy in our ideal playing style so the connection between us as coaches has been seamless,” Matthews said. “The aim is to improve both squads technically and tactically. We have the athletes to become a very dynamic and dominant team.” 

Tshutshani said that connecting the junior and senior environment at certain times will contribute to a more sustainable future of men’s hockey in Canada. 

“We want to ensure we grow the athlete depth pool in our men’s environment. The Juniors have a lot of potential and we have some of them training in our environment,” Tshutshani said. “It is always beneficial to expose the youth to the men’s environment, as they are able to take their experiences back to the junior environment. For me this is a long-term project, and we want to build a sustainable environment for Canada.” 

Geoff Matthews works with the Junior Men’s National Team in 2023. Photo/Blair Shier


The Men’s National Team recently returned from Japan where they trained and played several friendlies against Team Japan. This tour was specifically positioned to get the team international repetitions prior to departing to Santiago for Pan American Games. The Team is now back in Canada and will be training in the lead up to their departure.  

Matthews said since the majority of the Men’s National Team trains in Vancouver full time, there is a familiarity and chemistry, giving them an advantage.  

“The group is extremely competitive, honest, and accountable to their own and team actions. They set a high benchmark and will do what it takes to succeed. There is also a real personal connection with the majority being based in our Vancouver training environment.,” Matthews said. “There is a strong belief in the team with our own ability and we recognize what are strengths are. We will look to maximize those strengths and ensure that we win key moments in each match.” 

Looking forward to the Pan American Games, Tshutshani said the Red Caribou is a dedicated and hungry group of athletes who can challenge any team on any day. 

It is a special group, that is hungry to learn, committed, coachable have a great fighting spirit and are comfortable in their own skin. The top athletes are hungry and have the deep desire to challenge themselves to be better each day,” he said. “The key for us is to stay grounded, take one game at a time, making sure it is a process driven approach. We want to make sure we make it as simple and effective as possible.” 

Patrick Tshutshani coaching the Men’s National Team at the 2022 Nations Cup. Photo/FRANK UIJLENBROEK


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