Field Hockey Canada > Women's junior cycle off to fast start with Development Camp in Vancouver

With a renewed purpose, Canada’s Women’s National Program has officially kicked off its next four-year cycle with a Junior Development Camp in Vancouver this week.

Having been recently named to a refreshed Junior Development Squad following the completion of the 2016 Under-16 and Under-18 National Championships, the women gather in Vancouver beginning the journey with has an intended destination of the 2020 Junior World Cup.

For some of the athletes, like defender Hannah Eborall, the two-week camp in Vancouver represents a new beginning, after she and her fellow Under-21 teammates missed out on 2016 Junior World Cup qualification earlier this year with a fourth place finish at the Junior Women’s Pan American Championship this past April.

“When we were in Trinidad it really opened my eyes to the level intensity and the level of game that all the other countries were playing,” says the native of Beamsville, Ontario. “It kind of made me realize that I need to step up my game that much more.”

Excited to improve and knowing that the highest level of hockey she can play in this country is with the National Team, Eborall has made the decision to move to Vancouver this fall to attend the University of British Columbia (UBC), which is home to the defending CIS women’s field hockey champion Thunderbirds, and is where Canada’s National Program is based.

As one of the older members of the Junior squad, the new cycle provides Eborall an opportunity to push to the Senior level, like many of her teammates have over the last year.

“Hopefully I’m getting close,” Eborall says. “With some more training this fall, I’ll get used to that higher level.”

For others, like Vancouver Izzy’s Fraser, the goal is squarely on helping Canada qualify for the next Junior World Cup.

Fraser is one of the younger members of the Junior Development Squad and was not a part of the Junior Pan American Championship team earlier this year.

But the 16 year-old, who plays her club hockey with the Vancouver Hawks, knows who to deal with disappointment, having had to overcome obstacles in other sports.

“You can do anything at any height,” she says.

Fraser says that is the lesson she learned from the disappointment of being dropped from soccer teams because of her height.

And it is that disappointment that led her to focus on field hockey and now into her second year on Canada’s Junior Development Squad, which she lists as one of her proudest sporting accomplishments.

“I love playing with the girls, they always make you better,” she says. “They push you to be your best because it’s such a high level here.”

For Fraser, Eborall, and the rest of their Junior women’s teammates, the Development Camp is just the beginning of bigger and better things while wearing the red and white.