Rob Short (Canada) in action at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing
Rob Short (Canada) in action at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing
(Photo: FIH / Gordon Morrison)

The average age of the 108 players participating in the Men’s Hero FIH Road to London Olympic Qualifier in Delhi is 24.8 years old. The youngest team is Singapore (21), more than two years younger on average than India (23), while the two oldest teams are Canada (just over 27 years old) and Poland (just under 27).

Canadian Rob SHORT is the oldest player at 39, with Ken PEREIRA, also from Canada, not far behind at 38.

Muhammad Shafiq ABDUL RASHID, from Singapore, is the youngest player at 18 (born on December 4, 1993), only two days younger that Indian Uthappa SANNUVANDA KUSHALAPPA. No less than 6 other players in the Singapore squad are 18 years old. Altogether, there are 14 teenagers in the competition (3 for FRA, 3 for IND, 8 for SIN).

The average number of International Caps is 70 (official numbers have not been provided for the Singaporean squad). The team with the least international experience is Italy (with an average of 21 international Caps), while the most experienced team is Canada (with an average of 109 International Caps), followed by India (84).

The most capped player in the competition is Canadian Ken PEREIRA, with 342 international appearances, only two more than his teammate Rob SHORT. The two Canadians made their debut in the National Team back in 1994 and have participated in 2 Olympic Games (2000 in Sydney and 2008 in Beijing). Each of them has nearly as many Caps as the entire Italian squad (381).

There are only 2 other players with more than 200 International Caps: Ignace TIRKEY (236) and Tushar KHANDKER (202), both from India. There also 7 other players with more than 150 Caps (2 from CAN, 1 from IND and 4 from POL), with Canadian Scott TUPPER joining the club on his first match of the competition.

At the other end of the experience spectrum, Rogier TRIP (Canada) is the only player making his international debut in this competition (Singapore not considered).

8 players in the tournament have played in Olympic Games before: 6 in the Canadian squad (Mark PEARSON, Ken PEREIRA, Scott SANDISON, Rob SHORT, Sukhwinder “Gabbar” SINGH and Scott TUPPER) and 2 in the Indian squad (Ignace TIRKEY and Sandeep SINGH). Ken PEREIRA and Rob SHORT are the only ones to have competed in more than one Olympic competition (2000 and 2008). 

Hockey is a family affair in the French squad, with the 3 GENESTET brothers (Hugo, Martin and Tom) and the 2 MARTIN-BRISAC brothers (Nicolas and Simon).

Only 1 player will celebrate his birthday during the tournament: Ignacio SALAS, ITA, will turn 24 on February 22.