WOMEN’S NATIONAL TEAM LOOKING TO MAKE HISTORY AT 2018 COMMONWEALTH GAMES
Field Hockey Canada – Coming into the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Canada’s Women’s National Team was ranked 21st in the world and seventh at the event. Tomorrow, the team will play for fifth place against 14th world ranked South Africa. Canada’s previous best performance at any Commonwealth Games is sixth place. Now the team is one win away from a historic finish.
Veteran Canadian defender, Dani Hennig, said the team’s goal was to get into the semi-finals and challenge for a medal. A goal that very few outside the team would have thought was achievable before watching them suit up at the Gold Coast Hockey Centre last week.
“We wanted to be challenging for a podium spot,” Hennig said. “We think we’ve played well enough to be in the top four. But now it’s about resetting our sights on finishing strong and coming in ahead of our initial ranking.”
It’s hard to ignore the obvious shift the team has made this year since appointing Giles Bonnet head coach of the program. Bonnet came in and immediately made an impact leading the team on two winning test-tours in Santiago, Chile and San Diego, USA. Hennig, who played in her 150th international match on Wednesday, said the team has stepped up to the challenge and embraced the new style.
“Giles likes to play a very fast, attacking style. It’s a really fun game to play and I think the team has latched onto it really well,” Hennig said. “The passion that he brings is really visible. He pushes us really hard because he wants us to be better and the team is responding really well to it.”
The team has posted impressive results at the 2018 Commonwealth Games so far. Over their first four games, they have only allowed two goals in total and have a 1-2-1 record. Their 0-0 draw against world number four New Zealand on the weekend was another statement that this team won’t be ranked in the twenties for much longer.
Their Friday date with South Africa will be somewhat of a homecoming for Bonnet. The globetrotting high-performance specialist coached the South African side from 2010-2014 and led them to the 2012 London Olympics. He was very clear when he said, no matter his past involvement, this is about Team Canada and how they finish off the event.
“It’s always an advantage to have worked with the team before,” he said. “…but this is about our team and executing the game plan. This is a final for us.”
Team Canada has already broken seed and are now looking to make history. You can catch Canada taking on South Africa live on www.dazn.com at 9:00pm PDT.
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