Three players from Surrey have been named to the Canadian men’s field hockey team which will compete at the International Hockey Federation’s World League Round 2 in Trinidad and Tobago from Mar. 25 to Apr. 2.
Balraj Panesar and Brandon Pereira recently competed at the 2016 Junior World Cup, and are among the 18 players named to the national team. Panesar will join his older brother Sukhi on the team. Sukhi Panesar was a member of the national team which competed at the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
While Pereira will be playing his first game for the men’s national team in Trinidad and Tobago, Balraj Panesar played three games with the senior squad in 2014.
National team head coach Anthony Farry said both players, who have practiced with the men’s Senior Development Squad, might have played on the national team last season.
“Had both those guys not been going to a Junior World Cup, where we wanted them to play, maybe they would have played (on the senior level) last year at some stage” says Farry. “I think their progression, and the timing of what they’re doing is perfect now.”
Canada will be striving towards a top two finish at the eight-team tournament in Trinidad and Tobago, which is part of the 2018 World Cup qualification process. Just two teams will advance to World League Round 3 later this year, where 2018 Men’s World Cup spots will be decided.
Canada is the highest-ranked team in Pool A for World League Round 2, sitting in 11th place in the world rankings. Other teams in their pool are Chile (26th), the United States (29th), and Barbados (49th).