Hockey Coach On CAC Games Preparations

February 2, 2023

[Written by Stephen Wright]

The Bermuda women’s hockey team’s preparations for the Central American and Caribbean Games are well underway, with head coach Kovin Moodley broadening the selection net and shaping their identity.

Moodley was instrumental in helping the team finish top of their group in the CAC Games qualifiers on home soil in April last year and returned to the island last month to begin the second of three phases of their build-up towards the CAC Games hockey tournament held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in June and July.

The South African said more players had joined the national programme since the successful qualifying campaign, which has helped ramp up competition for places in the squad.

“We started back two weeks ago, having taken a break over Christmas after finishing phase one of the preparations, which started in September,” Moodley told Bernews.

“The first phase was setting some foundations and principles of play. Now we’re moving into game tactics and the identity of the team – the way we want Bermuda to play.

“We have three weekly sessions, plus additional fitness, video, and mental skills sessions. The new players are beginning to understand expectations. I’m constantly evolving as a coach, so nothing is ever static.

“We’re in a trial period, and we want every player to have a chance to express themselves for selection. We want to keep moving forward and don’t want anybody settling.”

Moodley has been encouraged by the standard of the domestic league, which has been in full swing for several months and considers it the backbone of a healthy national programme.

Two training camps, including friendly games against a team from New York, will also be held over the coming months to reintegrate those players studying and working overseas.

“We’re trying to keep everyone as engaged as possible and not feeling excluded from the process,” said Moodley, an International Hockey Federation Level 2 certified coach.

“Playing competitive games against the New York team will allow us to try our new identity and tactics.

“We’re starting to get the ball rolling and gathering momentum [after the Covid-19 pandemic]. We’re in a really healthy place.”

With Moodley suspecting the Covid-19 pandemic has levelled the playing field among their regional rivals, he believes Bermuda might have caught up or even overtaken some nations.

“The CAC Games will be more challenging, and the stakes will be higher,” he said. “Our belief and mentality going into the qualifiers and CAC Games is that Covid put everyone back to square one. We feel this new movement might have allowed us to play catch up.”

Although Moodley is not looking beyond the CAC Games, he believes the Bermuda Hockey Federation has shown a statement of intent after winning its bid to host the Women’s Pan American Challenge in September next year.

“My focus is just on the CAC Games,” he added. “We’re working towards a bit of sustainability. As much as I’ve helped drive hockey forward, we’re still utilising the local coaches and those who have put their hands up to become the head coach in the future.

“We’re taking baby steps. It’s great the Federation has put itself out there to try and host bigger international events. The Federation and stakeholders executed such successful qualifiers, and you have to leverage these situations.”

Bernews Sports Facebook Group banner with border 1 (1)

Read More About

Category: All, News, Sports