Field Hockey Canada is excited to announce the 18-man roster that will head to Japan for a training tour and set of friendly matches.
The Men’s National Team has been training in preparation for the upcoming Pan American Games, taking place in Santiago, Chile at the end of October. The senior men’s program has upwards of 25 athletes consistently competing for 18 spots on tournament and tour rosters. The final roster for the Pan American Games competition will be announced in the middle of September.
SOMPO CUP MATCHES:
The Red Caribou touring roster that leaves for Tokyo and Okayama on August 27 features a medley of experienced Team Canada veterans and fresh faces looking to carve out bigger roles. This roster returns 11 players from the 2022 Commonwealth Games and 14 players from the Nations Cup roster. Those athletes will be looking to build off that international experience towards the Pan American Games.
The veteran core consists of Gordon Johnston, Taylor Curran, Devohn Noronha Teixeira, and Matt Sarmento, with Balraj Panesar, Floris van Son, Fin Boothroyd and Brendan Guraliuk providing an experienced stability, as all have played in major competitions over the past two years.
A young and fiery forward group including Matt Barnett, Sean Davis and Gopi Singh has proven over the last year that they can find the net. This tour will be a good opportunity for them to sort out their attack as they prepare for Santiago.
Ethan McTavish and Zach Coombs will play between the pipes for Team Canada. Both have extensive Junior national team and club experience. McTavish backstopped the UBC Thunderbirds for five years. Between the two of them, they have 11 senior international matches. All international experience is good experience as the young keeper core prepares for Pan Ams.
Team Canada competes at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Photos/Yan Huckendubler
Head Coach Patrick Tshutshani has been at the helm now since the fall, but only recently been on the field full time with the team. Assistant coach Geoff Matthews coaches the Junior National Team and the connectivity between the two teams has been growing in the last two years.
Tshutshani talks about the connectivity between the junior and senior environments and how it sets Canada up for growing success.
“Geoff and the staff on the ground have done a fantastic job with the group. I have now worked with the group on the ground this summer in two training blocks,” Tshutshani said. “It is important that within the Men’s National Program that we grow squad depth, this is our immediate task. This creates a competitive environment and ensures that there is no complacency within the group. We want to be the best we can possibly be and compete at the world stage. This only drives us to be better, also giving an opportunity to the young high potential athletes to test themselves, contribute and develop within the program.”
For Tshutshani, this tour to Tokyo and Okayama is an opportunity to train in a new environment and get practice match repetitions against quality opponents. For Tshutshani, this tour to Japan falls at the perfect time to set up the team leading into Pan Ams.
“These matches give us the opportunity to see how we have developed in our training blocks and present us with opportunities to try and test new things. Currently in our processes we are rebuilding as well as refreshing at the same time our squad,” Tshutshani said. “We want to test ourselves against quality opposition in our processes and concepts that we have been working on in our training environment.”
Although none of the practice games will be officially capped, Team Canada will play five matches between August 31 and September 6 including two friendlies against Japan as a part of the Sompo Japan Cup. For Tshutshani, a lot of the excitement swirls around getting back on pitch and playing Canadian style hockey internationally.
“The excitement for me is for the group to play with freedom in our structures have the confidence to go forward as well as having great confidence in defending. Defending is all about attitude and grit, and this is what I want to see on the field. The Canadian DNA. We have a mixture of experience and youth, it is important that we get this balance right as we lead into a major.”
|West Vancouver, BC
|North Vancouver, BC
|North Vancouver, BC
|Devohn Noronha Teixeira
|Floris Van Son