July 4,2014(ISN) – VANCOUVER – Canada’s men’s field hockey roster for the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland looks like one you might find at a UBC Thunderbirds reunion. That’s because 11 of the 16 athletes named today to Team Canada are either current T-Birds or former players.
The four current players are midfielder Taylor Curran of North Vancouver (60 career caps for Canada), defender Gordon Johnston of Vancouver (41 caps), midfielder Keegan Pereira of Ajax, Ont. (78 caps), and midfielder Paul Wharton (22 caps), who’s also from Vancouver.
The group of former Thunderbirds who will be wearing the maple leaf in Scotland is comprised of: goalkeeper and David Carter (85), forward Richard Hildreth (118), defenders David Jameson (198) and Benjamin Martin (50), midfielder Mark Pearson (150), defender Scott Tupper (183) and forward Philip Wright (138).
They’re all from Vancouver except for Pearson, who is from Tsawwassen.
“I’m very proud of our athletes,” said UBC head coach Shiaz Virjee. “It’s a great achievement for UBC men’s field hockey to consistently have our athletes represent Canada in world events. The team is coming off a very good performance at Champions Challenge in Malaysia and I wish them the very best at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.”
The team will be anchored by Tupper, who will serve as team captain. He’s a feared penalty-corner striker who currently plays professionally in Europe and led his Belgian club to the semifinals of the European Hockey League. Tupper was named to the 2013 Pan American Elite Team, alongside two other Canadians, one of them being Pearson.
Canada, coached by Anthony Farry, is currently ranked 16th in the world and will play in Pool B with England (the No. 5-ranked team in the world), New Zealand (No. 6), Malaysia (No. 13) and Trinidad and Tobago (No. 29). They open their Glasgow campaign on Thursday, July 24 against New Zealand.