Barbados name 18 for World Hockey League
THERE IS a mix of young and experienced players in the 18-man squad to represent Barbados at the FIH Hockey World League in Salamanca, Mexico, at monthend.
The team was named following a four-day training camp in Trinidad and Tobago where they lost a four-match warm-up series against the host country, last week.
Head coach Dominic Hill told NATION SPORT he was pleased with the squad selected.
“A number of the players were quite young in terms of experience but we have full confidence in the players and they meshed well with the senior players. It’s all part of the transition phase. The team going forward will be looking at future tournaments such as the Pan Am Games, CAC, etcetera. So it’s quite important that we have a succession programme going forward.”
Hill said that though the camp was quite tough for the players it was useful in preparing the team for the competition both physically and mentally, and he was hoping they would have a few more practice games before they leave for Mexico on Saturday.
A lot will be expected from captain Andre Boyce, vice-captains Jemar Small and Laurando Davis, Neil Franklin, Justin Catlin and Akeem Rudder when Barbados oppose the United States in their first match on September 27.
Hill acknowledged that the team’s main emphasis was to qualify for the second round.
“Our focus in to qualify for Round 2, which is in Trinidad and Tobago in March 2017, and to do so we have to play USA, Mexico and Guatemala. They are ranked higher than we are,” he said.
With the composition of the team, Hill said he believed they have the strength to compete efficiently.
“We just need to stay focused as a unit. We know exactly what we need to do, what we have practised, what we have done in training camps over the last three or four months. We just need to make sure that we are focused throughout the entire tournament,” said Hill.
Telecommunications giants Digicel are the title sponsor with hockey sponsor Osaka and the Barbados Olympic Association also assisting the team.
SQUAD: Andre Boyce (captain), Jemar Small, Laurando Davis, Kris Holder, Neil Franklin, Justin Catlin, Mario Moore, Khodi Gibson, Marlon Daniel, Keenan Knight, Che Roach, Che Warner, Jerome Harewood, Shonkeel Wharton, Kamar Bovell, Paul Gill, Shakeel Wharton and Akeem Rudder. Officials: Dominic Hill (head coach), Dave Cox (assistant coach), Antonio Forte (manager), Alain Hinds (assistant manager) and Jonathan Ruck (video analyst).