Nine South Asians in 16-member Canadian men’s field hockey Senior Development Squad for three-nations series in Mexico

Keegan PereiraFIELD Hockey Canada is sending its Senior Development Squad to Mexico for a test series versus Mexico and Cuba to be held in Mexico City from June 3 to 8.

Sixteen athletes have been named to the touring roster, the majority of whom are part of the Field Hockey Canada Men’s Senior Development Squad (SDS) and Junior Developments Squad (JDS).

The Canadian roster is led by 22-year-old Keegan Pereira (Ajax, Ontario), who has been capped internationally 78 times.

Vancouver’s John Smythe and James Kirkpatrick, who have appeared in 10 international caps each, also add to the team’s experience.

“These types of competitions are invaluable to the long term success of our program,” says Canadian Men’s National Program Head Coach Anthony Farry.

“We are getting more and more athletes international exposure. This is critical for not only the success of our senior group but also the underpinning programs, as it shows the athletes coming through that there are opportunities and pathways to play international matches.”

With the majority of the Men’s National Team athletes currently training for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, which will be held in Glasgow, Scotland this July, the Mexico three-nation series is an opportunity for the Development Squads to earn extremely valuable international experience.

“We are looking to expose some of our JDS athletes to senior level hockey while also continuing to give athletes in our Men’s National Team and SDS the chance to push for Commonwealth Games selection,” says Farry. “With the mix of ages it will be a great test, especially playing a side like Cuba who will be very physically strong.”

Canada will open the series on June 3 versus Mexico A.

The South Asian members:
Tour Roster: Name / Position / Hometown

* Sunny Aujla / Defender / Surrey

* Arshjot Buttar / Defender / Victoria
* Rohan Chopra / Forward / Ottawa

* Manvir Kingra / Defender / Surrey

* Jannu Mahal / Mid/Fwd / Surrey

* Balraj Panesar / Mid/Def / Surrey

* Keegan Pereira / Midfield / Ajax

* Arshjit (Amrit) Sidhu / Mid/Fwd / Abbotsford

* Harp Virdi / Mid/Fwd / Vancouver

Team Manager: Preet Sidhu

June 3 – vs Mexico A
June 4 – vs Cuba
June 5 – vs Mexico B
June 7 – Semi-Final
June 8 – Final