Paul Bundy took the head coaching position of the Men’s National Team in the fall of 2017. Since that time, the plan has been to build a team to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The Men’s National Team starts the qualification journey next week with the Hockey Series Finals taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The journey to the Olympic Games can take shape in several ways. Canada can win the Pan American Games in August and secure an automatic spot at the Games. Or they can qualify through the FIH Series. The top two finishers at the Hockey Series Finals next week get added to a pool of 14 teams world-wide excluding Japan (host) and the other continental qualifiers. That group of 14 will be paired off and play two head-to-head matches. The winner of each series advances to the Olympic Games.
According to Bundy, the strategic placement of competing at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup has put the team in a good spot heading into the Hockey Series Final.
“The teams who are well conditioned, able to manage the heat and mentally focused, will have a big advantage through the pool stages and into the semifinals and finals,” he said. “We will look to build off every game in the pool stages and put ourselves in the best position to win this tournament and advance through the Olympic qualification process.”
Canada, currently ranked 10th in the world, is on pace to host a “head-to-head” match series if all goes well. Nothing is set in stone though and the team still needs to perform well and finish top two at the upcoming Hockey Series Final to give themselves a chance at hosting. Other top-20 ranked teams in attendance include Malaysia (13), China (14) and Austria (19).
Head Coach – Paul Bundy
Asst Coach – Gregg Clark
Touring Manager – Kelly Vanry
Video Analysis – Hugh Purvis
Physio/IST – Guy Robertson
April 26: Canada vs Wales – 4pm
April 27: Canada vs Austria – 6pm
April 29: Canada vs Belarus – 2pm
Crossover and Bracket play begins on May 1