THE Canadian Men’s National Program has named 18 elite athletes to a team that will travel to Kuantan, Malaysia, to take part in the 8th Men’s Champions Challenge 1 (CC1) tournament April 26 to May 4.
Two of them are South Asians:
* Sukhi (Sukhpal) Panesar, 20, of Surrey who plays midfield and is from United Brothers FHC. He was born in Surrey.
* Keegan Pereira, 22, of Ajax, Ontario, who plays midfield and is from UBC Thunderbirds. He was born in Mumbai, India. His former teams were University of Victoria Vikes, and Toronto Titans Field Hockey Club. His brother, Kevin, is a goalkeeper on the Junior National Team.
The National Team will return to Malaysia after finishing fifth in the 23rd Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in March – their best finish ever at that tournament.
“This is a well balanced team,” says head coach Anthony Farry. “We have made a couple of changes from the Azlan Shah Cup squad with some of our overseas players returning to the group and this will add a bit of experience.”
Leading the group of experienced players are defender Scott Tupper (Vancouver), who has been capped 177 times and plays professionally in Belgium, and forward Mark Pearson (Vancouver), who is expected to reach his 150th international cap during the tournament.
Also named to the squad is defender Benjamin Martin (Vancouver), who will likely reach his 50th cap on the tour.
“Having guys achieve milestones like 150 or 50 caps is significant and shows their quality and commitment to the program and there’s no doubt both Mark and Ben contribute a great deal both on and off the pitch,” says Farry.
“Both these guys embody leadership in different ways and I’m hopeful they will be around the group for some time yet.”
Canada finished sixth at the 2012 Champions Challenge in Argentina, and has since exposed more than 20 new athletes to senior level international hockey. Canada looks to top its 2012 result at this year’s competition in Malaysia, where world ranking points will be on the line.
(Name / Position / Residence / Club Team)
* Adam Froese- Defender – Abbotsford, BC – India FHC
* Antoni Kindler – Goalkeeper – Vancouver, BC – West Vancouver FHC
* Ben Martin – Defender – Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Hawks FHC
* David Carter – Goalkeeper – Vancouver, BC – India FHC
* David Jameson – Defender – Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Hawks FHC
* Gabriel Ho-Garcia – Forward – Vancouver, BC – Burnaby Lake FHC
* Gordon Johnston – Defender – Vancouver, BC – UBC Thunderbirds
* Paul Wharton – Midfield – Vancouver, BC – UBC Thunderbirds
* Iain Smythe – Forward – Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Hawks FHC
* Richard Hildreth – Forward – Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Hawks FHC
* Hudson Stewart – Forward – Vancouver, BC – UBC Thunderbirds
* Keegan Pereira – Midfield – Ajax, ON – UBC Thunderbirds
* Mark Pearson – Midfield – Tsawassen, BC – West Coast Kings FHC
* Matthew Guest – Forward – Melbourne, Aus. – Altona Hockey Club
* Philip Wright – Forward – Vancouver, BC – Vancouver Hawks FHC
* Scott Tupper – Defender – Vancouver, BC – Racing Club de Bruxelles
* Sukhi Panesar – Midfield – Surrey, BC – United Brothers FHC
* Taylor Curran – Midfield – Vancouver, BC – UBC Thunderbirds
* Saturday, April 26 – vs Korea – 19:00
* Sunday, April 27 – vs France – 19:00
* Tuesday, April 29 – vs Malaysia – 21:00
* Thursday, May 1 – Quarterfinals
* Saturday, May 3 – Semi-Finals
* Sunday, May 4 – Final
(All times local to Kuantan, Malaysia)