Guyana women’s hockey team to compete in Canadian Indoor
A national indoor selection is scheduled to travel on Wednesday (March 20) to Toronto, Canada, to compete in the upcoming Field Hockey Canada Invitational Indoor Hockey Tri-Nation Series, scheduled for March 22 to 24.
Guyana was initially hoping to enter male and female selections as there is nothing else on the indoor hockey calendar internationally to prepare teams before the next Indoor Pan American Cup (IPAC) being held in March 2020 in Pennsylvania. There were some difficulties in managing to achieve both, especially on the male side, and so the men will be unable to attend.
The ladies have been preparing since early in January at the National Gymnasium under the guidance of head coach Philip Fernandes. Eight of the 12 players remain from the 2017 national team that competed in the IPAC held for the first time in Guyana in 2017.
Those players are goalkeeper Alysa Xavier, Marisha Fernandes, Trisha Woodroffe, Marzana Fiedtkou, Nicole Eastman, Gabriella Xavier, Minsodia Culpepper and Latacia Cheong.
The Guyana Hockey Board, in using this event as a preparation for 2010 and beyond has opted to give the opportunity to new, young players who show the potential to be good representatives of the country for the future. As a result, it has named its youngest ever squad which features, including the two reserves, three 14-year olds, two 15-year olds and others in their early twenties.
Coach Fernandes has lamented the loss, especially of Aliyah Gordon due to injury as he considers her to be one of those special players around whom the future of women’s hockey can be built. Fernandes however, is very excited by the several teenagers in the line-up as he feels that they are among the most talented players we have seen in recent years in the women’s program.
The team will face the Canadian national team, a Canadian President’s XI as well as the national team of Kazakhstan which represented Asia in the last Indoor World Cup in Berlin.
Fernandes indicated that the two countries, Canada and Kazakhstan, both boast far superior reputations in indoor hockey than does Guyana and he expressed great appreciation for the invitation from field hockey Canada and their willingness to include Guyana in the series.
While Fernandes is cautiously optimistic of his team’s chances, he thinks that it is exactly what the local ladies need at this very moment. Fernandes indicated that the young players need to be exposed to this level of tough competition where they can see, experience and appreciate indoor hockey, its toughness and the level of physical and skilful play required to be at the top.
Fernandes only regret during preparation was that the team was unable to train on the tile floor housed at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall as the multi-sport facility would not have been able to accommodate the floor being in place for these months. He however, was appreciative for the use of the National Gymnasium, which although has a different and slower mat surface, still allowed the team to get through its training.
Matches will all be played at the University of Toronto’s Athletic Centre and will begin on Friday March 22 according to the following schedule (Toronto time):
12:00 – Guyana versus Kazakhstan
13:00 – Canada White vs Canada Red
15:30 – Kazakhstan vs Canada White
16:45 – Guyana versus Canada Red
11:45 – Canada Red vs Kazakhstan
12:30 – Guyana versus Canada White
17:00 – Women’s semi-final 1 vs 4
17:45 – Women’s semi-final 2 vs 3
14:00 – Women’s bronze medal match
14:45 – Women’s Final
The full Guyana squad reads: Abosaide Cadogan, Alysa Xavier, Gabriella Xavier, Marisha Fernandes, Trisha Woodroffe, Sarah Klautky, Latacia Cheung, Nicole Eastman, Minsodia Culpepper, Tekeisha Deleon, Marzana Fiedtkou and Makeda Harding.
Reserves: Charlia Webb and Madison Fernandes
Coach: Philip Fernandes
Manager: Tiffany Solomon