Field Hockey Canada > Stage is set for Indoor World Cups in Leipzig

The Leipzig Arena (7,000 seats) is buzzing with activity in preparation for the Men’s and Women’s Indoor World Cups, starting on Wednesday February 4. It is the second time that this spectacular venue plays host to the world top indoor competition, after the inaugural edition was organized here in 2003.

Both Canadian men’s and women’s teams qualified for this elite indoor competition by winning, in style, the 2014 Indoor Pan American Cups in Montevideo. The men beat the USA in the final (4-2), while the women won their final against arch-rivals Argentina (3-1) after cleanly disposing of the USA in semi-final (5-0).

The Canadian men have qualified for all the Indoor World Cups and are so far the only non-European team to achieve a top-six finish on the world stage. They had their best showing in their first appearance (2003) with strong results against some top European powerhouses: win against Switzerland (5-4, four goals from Wayne Fernandes), ties with Russia (3-3) and Czech Republic (5-5). The match against the Czechs was not for the faint of heart, with Canada behind by two goals entering the final minute of play, scoring a penalty-corner then tying the game on a goal by Robin D’Abreo with… three seconds left on the clock!

That year, Canada missed the semi-finals by a whisker, and played for fifth place against the Netherlands on the final afternoon in a jam-packed arena. The Canadians played another crowd-pleaser, finishing tied in regulation time (4-4) and losing only on penalty-strokes despite three saves from goal-keeper Hari Kant.

The Canadian men finished one step lower (7th) in 2007 in Vienna, Austria, and had their poorest result (10th) in 2011 in Poznan, Poland.

They return this year with a strong team, with extensive international indoor experience: eight players in the 12-man roster have played in a previous Indoor World Cup, five of them playing in their third IWC and goal-keeper Shankar Premakanthan making his fourth appearance, one of only three players having participated in all Indoor World Cups! Averaging more than 30 Indoor Caps per player, they will be led by Jeewanjot Singh Bath (55 Indoor Caps) and by Ken Pereira (44 Indoor Caps and 348 outdoor Caps) who, at 41, seems fitter and more enthusiastic than ever.

Even before the start of the competition, this team is on record as having the youngest player (Lyle Fernandes, 16), the oldest player (Ken Pereira, 41) and the most capped player (Jeewanjot Singh Bath, 55)!

Ranked 7th in the world, Canada will play in Pool B in Leipzig, facing powerhouses such as Poland (ranked 2nd, silver medalists in all previous Indoor World Cups), Russia (3rd) and the Netherlands (6th), as well as Switzerland (11th) and South Africa (15th). The top four in each pool advance to the quarter-finals.

The Canadian women, who did not attempt to qualify for the first Indoor World Cup, swept the opposition at the next Indoor Pan American Cup and finished 9th at their first participation on the world stage in 2007 in Vienna. After missing the 2011 edition, they come back this year with a young roster built with experienced indoor players. They showed their determination from the very start of the Indoor Pan American Cup, blowing away Argentina… 10-0.

With only Malinda Hapuarachchi having participated in a previous Indoor World Cup and less than 10 indoor Caps per player on average, they might however lack international exposure. They will also sorely miss Amanda Woodcroft, Player of the Tournament at the Indoor Pan American Cup but called for duty with the outdoor squad for a Test Series in New Zealand the very same week as the competition in Leipzig.

The Canadian women (ranked 12th in the world, but 9th in the competition) will need to be immediately at the top of their game as they face the two strongest teams in their pool on opening day: Austria (ranked 4th) first, followed by current World Champions Germany supported by their boisterous home crowd. They will then play Ukraine (5th), Australia (8th) and newcomer Belgium (22nd).

The Indoor World Cup starts on Wednesday February 4 with 24 matches (on two courts), then 24 more matches on Thursday, “only” 20 matches on Friday, 16 matches on Saturday and 8 matches on the final day, Sunday February 8.

Live streaming will be available on the FIH web site as of the quarter-finals.


Canada – Men

Canada – Women

Shankar Premakanthan (GK)

Kyesia O’Neale

Micah Teixeira

Anna Easty

Devohn Noronha Teixeira

Kaelan Watson

Jonathan Roberts

Alison Lee

Lyle Fernandes

Jacqueline Trautman

Ken Pereira [C]

Madison Thompson

Sean Barretto

Malinda Hapuarachchi

Tyler Branco

Kri Shier [C]

Jeewanjot Singh Bath

Angela Lancaster

Scott Sandison

Erin Houle

Gurtej Dhaliwal

Jocelyn Mitchell

Pardeep Koonar (GK)

Kathryn Williams (GK)



Louis Mendonca, Coach

John De Souza, Coach

Reginald Pereira, Assistant Coach

Paul Bundy, Assistant Coach

Jagroop Bal, Manager

Cassius Mendonca, Manager

Elwin Lau, Physiotherapist

Amanda Halls, Physiotherapist

Dmitri Chipilo, Video Technician