As June approaches, the Canadian Women’s National Team will start its march towards 2020 Olympic qualification. They will do so under the command of newly appointed head coach, Giles Bonnet.
Bonnet was named the interim head coach of the Canadian Women’s National Team in January. Since then, the team has produced a best-ever finish at the Commonwealth Games, defeated the USA for the first time in 18 years, and went undefeated in a series against Chile in Santiago.
A native of South Africa, Bonnet has over 30 years of professional involvement in the sport both as a player and coach. Prior to joining the Canadian Women’s National Team, his 20-plus year coaching career featured experience with top men and women’s club teams in the Netherlands Premier League as well as international experience with the Chinese, Irish, Belgian and South African national teams.
Bonnet is particularly proud of the accomplishments of the South African women’s national program while he was there. He was the head coach the South African women’s team at the 2012 Olympic games in London, UK. The team also tackled the challenging World Cup qualifying circuit and followed it up with positive results at the 2014 World Cup.
“Giles has proven himself as a deeply experienced international coach with a sustained record of success in multiple hockey environments including Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa and China,” said Field Hockey Canada CEO, Jeff Sauvé. “In addition to creating and operating high performance coaching environments, Giles is a system builder who has established the necessary partnerships to move a nation’s hockey program forward.
Bonnet has made it clear that he is dedicated to growing women and girls’ hockey in Canada and wants to lead a program that fosters high performance athletes.
“I want to contribute to a sustainable high performance pathway for the NextGen athletes while achieving success with the current National team,” said Bonnet. “If we want to be successful at the international level, we need to work hard, work smart and be totally committed to the goal.”
The Women’s National Team is currently at the University of Victoria preparing for the FIH World League Series event next month in Mexico. This event is the first stepping-stone en route to 2020 Olympic qualification. Stay tuned to www.fieldhockey.ca for upcoming roster announcements and tournament information.
Kevin Underhill – Field Hockey Canada
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