Field Hockey Canada > Men’s National Team hosts selection camp in lead up to Nations Cup Tournament

Men’s National Team hosts selection camp in lead up to Nations Cup Tournament

Feature Photo: Blair Shier

October 24, 2022 | Field Hockey Canada |

Red Caribou gather in Vancouver for five-day training camp

It’s expected to be a wet and chilly week in Vancouver, BC, as the Men’s National Team selection pool gathers for a five-day training camp. Held at Rutledge Field in West Vancouver and Tamanawis Park in Surrey, the camp will feature physical, technical, and tactical sessions as well as intra-squad matches. The goal for the high-performance leadership is to evaluate and train the top men in the country and select an 18-person roster for the upcoming Nations Cup in South Africa.

Leading the group is a collection of Field Hockey Canada staff and contractors. Under the head coach leadership and guidance of Patrick Tshutshani, a coaching staff of Geoff Matthews, Joh De Souza, Richard Hildreth, Simon Taylor and Alan Brahmst are running the Red Caribou through the camp this week. Tshutshani, having recently finished a contract with Hockey India and is taking over the Men’s National Team head coaching position, hasn’t arrived in Canada yet. He will meet the team in South Africa for the Nations Cup and then will arrive in Canada in the new year to lead the team on-ground.

Matthews was recently named assistant coach for the upcoming Nations Cup. He, alongside Brahmst, a former national team player and interim High Performance Director are leading the evaluations at camp, with De Souza, Hildreth leading the on-field components and Taylor leading the fitness sessions and evaluations. For Matthews, it’s good to get this larger group together for an extended camp and have them all gel in this training environment. It is crucial to see everyone together to make accurate evaluations.

“It’s a really good chance to see the depth that we do have. A lot of these guys have played at Pan American Cup or Commonwealth Games…or both,” Matthews said. “So now it’s that next step to see which ones are excelling and deserve to be on this team.”

Men’s National Team players compete during day-one of camp. Photos/Blair Shier

Matthews has worked with the U21 National Men’s Team over the past five years and has seen a lot of these young players come through the system. For him, they will now be faced with the pressure to up their game to the senior national pace and skill. He has expectations for this young cohort to not only challenge for roster spots but also push the senior athletes from below.

“These young guys that have played in a Junior World Cup are now being given the opportunity to play in a senior men’s camp. It’s great seeing what they young guys bring to the table and follow their development,” Matthews said. “Once these guys make that jump to the senior team, their level of attention to detail just has to be that much better.”

At the camp this week in Vancouver, there is a blend of veteran players and newer programs, including some athletes fresh to the senior environment. The older guard is made up of players like Taylor Curran, Gordon Johnston, Matt Sarmento, Devohn Noronha Teixeira, Oliver Scholfield, among others and the additions that have been given an opportunity over the last year include names such as Roop Dhillon, Matt Barnett as well as Manveer Jhamat — all of whom received their first international caps in 2022.

For Scholfield, a Tokyo Olympics returner, just the opportunity to get back into the national team training environment feels good. He said that the local club league has got the guys going but this intensive training camp elevates everyone to that next level.

“The intensity always picks up when you get a bigger selection pool and a bigger group in for national team camp,” Scholfield said. “The young guys have a great group coming up. Looking back to Chile in January [and Commonwealth Games]. We have a great culture and cohesion right away. So, it’s been great having them here. It pushes everyone and we can all learn from each other.”

The camp will consist of eight sessions over five days including three intrasquad matches. The team will then be selected for the Nations Cup. To keep up to date with camp highlights and photos from the week, make sure to follow Field Hockey Canada on Instagram and Twitter.