Josh Kitagawa named to U17 National Squad
After months of travelling across the country in search of the most promising up-and-coming field hockey athletes under the age of 17, Men’s Junior National Head Coach Mathias Ahrens has selected a group of 21 athletes to represent Canada on the Men’s Junior National Target 2017 Team (see roster below). 18 of these athletes will compete in their first international matches later this month in a series of games against the USA running November 27th – December 2nd at Moorpark College.
“This US tour is just the beginning,” says Ahrens. “I’m really looking forward to it. We have an excited young group that will get to represent their country for the first time. The Target 2017 Men are a solid, competitive team.”
This will also be the first international series for Sandeep Chopra. Field Hockey Canada is pleased to announce Chopra as the Team Manager for the Men’s Target 2017 Program. With over 40 years of experience in the field hockey community, Chopra is excited for his new role.
“This is a huge honour for me,” says Chopra of Ottawa. “It gives me so much energy to see young people getting an opportunity to compete at this level. They are so excited to represent their country – it’s invigorating. A lot of these athletes have a long road ahead of them. It’s very rewarding to help them reach their goals.”
“The impact of the Target 2017 Program is huge,” says Chopra. “It gets the kids involved, gives them a more tangible goal. They know it will be a long road to the Junior or Senior National, but the Target 2017 Program gives athletes something to push for at a young age. This program has already sparked interest across Canada. It also helps raise the profile of junior hockey, and will hopefully encourage more kids to participate.”
So what is the goal of the Target 2017 Program?