Gatineau, Canada, July 8, 2020 – Canada’s men’s national team are back in motion as 13 members of the country’s squad are reunited for the first time in 2020 at their training centre in Gatineau, Quebec.
Training resumed for the Canadians, who are qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. Nine members of the team are working with assistant coaches Gino Brousseau and Daniel Lewis at their training facility this week. Head coach Glenn Hoag will join the group soon.
Players will arrive and depart at different dates, but the training period is expected to end on July 29. The idea is to prepare the players for the 2020-2021 club season with training sessions twice a day over the next three weeks as most of them are set to join their teams in Europe in August.
“The last time they touched a ball was three months ago, so in the first week we’ll have no impact drills at all,” Brousseau explained. “We could tell they’re a little rusty, but it will get better as they keep getting the rhythm back. We’ll start working the technical side and will take it easy. We’ll increase the intensity a little bit for the second week and a little more in the third one. There are no competitions in the near future, so the goal is to gradually put them back in shape.”
Activity started at the Canadian training centre in Gatineau last Monday (Photo: Volleyball Canada)
The team are taking several precautionary measures due to the coronavirus pandemic, including maintaining social distancing in some activities and disinfecting the balls between drills.
Outside hitter Nicholas Hoag, who was training by himself two weeks before the training period started in Gatineau, is excited to be with his teammates again.
“I know the guys lifted a lot during the quarantine period, but volleyball is a very dynamic sport, so it’s a different kind of exercise for us,” he told Radio Canada. “After the first sessions I could barely walk, but it got better every day. It’s nice to be with the team again even though we want to hug each other since we’re like a family here and we can’t, but we understand these measures are necessary right now.”
Players joining Hoag include setters Brett Walsh, Jay Blankenau and TJ Sanders, opposites Sharone Vernon-Evans and Ryan Sclater, outside hitters Gordon Perrin, Steven Marshall, Stephen Maar and Eric Loeppky and middle blockers Graham Vigrass, Arthur Szwarc and Lucas van Berkel.