Sydney Granger, a sophomore defender with the Turbos feels that her experience playing the Finns last year at the World Club Championship is a definite help in her job defending for U19 Team Canada East. “I think that having seen Finland’s style and speed of play already will be a benefit when we play them,” she says.
Her experience in Finland and having a year of NRL play on her resume may have gone a long way in getting a tryout with the U19s, but Syd took nothing for granted, as she worked hard to prepare for the tryout camp.
“Trying out for this team was one of the most nerve-racking weekends of my life. It was a long weekend of technical sessions, practices and inter-squad games, which left us all exhausted by the end. I learned so much through the process. There were so many talented players that hit the ice that weekend. None of us knew what the coaches were thinking,” says Syd.
Playing for Canada has been something she’s always wanted to do as it meant that she gets to represent her country, playing her favourite sport. Her goal is to someday play for the senior national team and she hopes playing on the U19s will be a stepping stone to that goal.
Syd thinks the Canada East team has a real chance to finish at the top in the World tournament in London, Ontario during the Christmas break. Since the tryout camp she says “our team has really gelled. We learned to play with each other and the chemistry is incredible. I think if we all play the way we can and execute our team’s systems we will bring an extremely competitive team to Worlds."
As a Turbo, Syd has had the opportunity to regularly play alongside U19 coaches Jackie Gaudet, Sharolyn Wouters and goalie coach Meghan Pittaway, but it’s a completely different experience having these three talented players as her coach.
“Having watched them play while growing up and having played with them in the NRL, I knew they are excellent players and have so much knowledge to bring to the team. They see everything that happens on the ice and are able to help us in every situation. Everything they tell us makes us better players. They are all great coaches and I can’t wait to keep learning more from them,” says Syd.