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Govia upbeat after hockey warm-up matches

Saturday, February 3, 2018
Raphael Govia, T&T senior men’s head hockey coach.

T&T senior men’s indoor hockey headcoach Raphael Govia says he is very upbeat about his team’s improvement following three warm-up matches, which resulted in two defeats and a win at the De Kemmer Sports Facility, Oirschot, North Brabant, Holland over the past week.

The local stickmen who are preparing for next week’s Fifth Indoor Hockey World Cup in Berlin, Germany went under to Holland Premier Division club, Den Bosch 7-4 and 7-6 before beating lower division outfit Venlo 8-4 on Thursday. Speaking yesterday, the Govia said, “Back home we had some matches against our President XI and it helped in keeping us match fit, but here in Holland we were able to test our skills against a higher level of opponents in Den Bosch, a top four club team with vastly experienced players."

T&T coach, a former national player himself said the matches served their purpose, “Myself and assistant coach Darren Cowie will be doing all we can do with the boys over the next two days as we continue to get ready for what comes next in Germany. The training sessions have also been going well as we are also adjusting to the new surface here in Holland, and we expect it to be a faster one at the World Cup."

The T&T team will train today after which Govia will name his 12-member playing team from the 13 players in camp prior to heading to Germany via train tomorrow morning.

Govia said, “My lone worry with the team at the moment is helping the players deal with the flu which has hit the team as the weather is very cold and some of the guys already have throat infections”.

On Monday, the “Calypso Stickmen” who qualified to the World Cup after capturing the 2017 Pan American Indoor Cup Men’s Tournament title with a 7-0 win over Argentina at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall in Georgetown, Guyana last October will face South Africa in an official tournament practice match while on Tuesday they face Russia.

The World Cup flicks at the Max-Schmeling-Halle and T&T will start its campaign versus Czech Republic in Pool B on Wednesday February 7 from 12.45pm (Germany Time) and then Poland at 7.30pm to close out the first day.

On February 8, the “Calypso Stickmen” will come up against Australia at 3.05pm and Kazakhstan from 10.05pm before closing out the round-robin series versus host Germany on February from 11.50am.

Pool A comprises Austria, Belgium, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and Russia.

At the end of the round-robin phase, the top four teams in each pool will advance to the quarter-finals followed by the semifinals on February 10, and the third place play-off and final a day later.

T&T 13-member team: Ron Alexander, Karlos Stephens, Solomon Eccles (captain), Jordan Reynos, Aidan De Gannes, Andrew Vieira, Akim Toussaint, Mikel Pierre, Jordan Vieira, Kristien Emmanuel, Marcus James, Shaquille Daniel, Tariq Marcano.


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