Women’s National Team host Carding Camp in Vancouver

Spring camp sets tone for coming national team season

The Women’s National Team’s last competition was the Commonwealth Games in August 2022. With camp, they start a new carding cycle and with that, a push to the 2023 Pan American Games.

The sun was out for the first day of carding camp on Monday, April 3, as over 30 athletes from all over Canada descended on Rutledge Park in West Vancouver, BC. Monday’s session primarily consisted of team meetings and physical evaluations, and kicked off the five-day camp that will finish on Friday.

Danny Kerry, the new head coach of the program, was on site, working with the athletes. For him, this introduction to the larger player pool is a perfect way to start their upcoming cycle. He said it gives him a good understanding of where the base is, and how to start their trajectory for the coming year.

“I’m curious and excited to understand the team’s physical capability and the potential of the group,” he said, as the team ran through a series of physical tests on Monday morning. “I’m also looking forward to meeting them all as people as well as what they can bring on the hockey pitch.”

The player pool this week consists of over 30 athletes from universities and club teams around Canada and the US. Some players even traveled in overseas for the training camp. The notable missing athletes are those currently at the Junior Pan American Championships in Barbados. For Kerry, getting a glimpse of the wider pool is important for him as a newcomer to the program.

“From my perspective, I’m coming with a fresh set of eyes, and I think I can help a bit of a restart,” Kerry said. “This isn’t a closed shop and I want to make sure I get a good look at as many athletes as possible.”

The Women’s National Team underwent a series of physical and endurance tests on Monday morning. Photos/Blair Shier

The Women’s National Team will be training in regional pods and coming together for camps in the spring, summer and fall as they prep for the upcoming Pan American Games in October. The Pan Ams, in Santiago, is an Olympic qualifying event. Kerry knows that between now and then, the team will need to buy-in to a style of play and develop cohesion and chemistry that goes along with it.

“Over the next few months, one of the big goals, is to create a sense of purpose of what we are aiming to do and get the athletes’ ownership of that goal,” he said. “We are going to establish clarity on the pitch. This is how we are looking to defend, this is how we’re going to defend. I think if we can do that, by the time Pan Ams comes around, we’ll be in a good spot.”

Although nothing is set in stone, Kerry anticipates the team touring to the US in the late summer or fall and hopefully hosting an international side in the summer as well.

Kerry is the former Great Britain and English national team coach who was hired by Field Hockey Canada earlier this spring. He said his introduction to the Canadian field hockey community has been warm and welcoming and is looking forward to tackling a new challenge in Canada.

“Everyone has been really welcoming, especially the athletes,” he said. “It’s really nice to go to a different environment. Different environments have different challenges. People are eager to get going and you can do a lot with eagerness.”

Kerry and the Women’s National Program will be working on technical and tactical skills as well as playing some scrimmages over the course of this week’s camp. From there, the 2023 squad will be announced and begin their preparation for the upcoming competition elements, always keeping an eye on the Pan Am qualifiers in the fall as the next major target.

Head Coach – Danny Kerry

womens national team host carding camp in vancouver 644fb2b294cf8 - Women’s National Team host Carding Camp in Vancouver - The Women’s National Team’s last competition was the Commonwealth Games in August 2022. With camp, they start a new carding cycle and with that, a push to the 2023 Pan American Games.

The former England and Great Britain (GB) head coach led the GB women’s team to a bronze medal at the London 2012 Olympic Games, a 2015 EuroHockey championship (with England) and an Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio Games.

Kerry grew up in Norfolk, UK and studied at Loughborough University then studied Sport, Culture and Society at the University of Warwick. He received his first coaching certificate in 1994 and began combining his work as a University lecturer, coaching in the national club competition and work with the national junior teams in 1997.

Kerry became the head coach of the GB Women’s Team in 2005 and led the program to incredible success during his tenure, culminating in the Olympic gold in 2016. In 2018, he was appointed the head coach of the GB Men’s side and led the team to their first FIH Hockey Pro League Grand Final in 2019. By the time he stepped away from the GB program, Kerry was the most successful coach in the history of hockey in the UK.

Learn more about Danny here.

Field Hockey Canada

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