A busy year lies ahead for Canada’s men as they are getting set to defend their Pan Am Gold from 2007 and their number #1 ranking in the Americas. A gold medal provides direct entry to the 2012 Olympics for the world’s number 10 ranked Canada. The task won’t be easy with world number 11 Argentina as Canada’s main opposition and traditional rival. Since 1983, Canada and Argentina have contended each of the previous 7 finals with Canada taking home 4 gold medals.

Since October’s Commonwealth Games, new Head Coach Robin D’Abreo has been busy making the necessary changes to continue climbing the world ranking. After working with a development squad on the recent California trip, which produced two wins over the USA and a tie and win in their two matches against France, Canada is now set for the next stage in their tactical preparation and will be touring the UK in April. A comprehensive eight match program lies ahead with 2 tests against European Champions England and 3 tests each against 18th ranked Ireland and Russel Garcia’s Scotland. Canada opens against England on April 13th.

From there, significant technical and physiological spring training blocks are scheduled by D’Abreo’s staff leading up to some home competition in July at Canada’s training base in Vancouver against other Pan American countries, including Chile. Canada will again go offshore in early August for a European tour with a variety of top opposition including Belgium, Holland, Russia and Spain. The final stage of tactical preparation is scheduled for September and is likely to include an international test series in Vancouver, with the competition yet to be confirmed.

Canada’s Men will depart for the Pan American Games in Mexico’s Guadalajara in early October. With Guadalajara’s significant altitude of almost 1,600 meters, the team will be well prepared with its pre-games acclimatization program and this year’s general altitude training protocol, which was started two weeks ago at the world class training facility at the Canadian Sport Centre Pacific in Victoria, BC.

Source: Field Hockey Canada