By Calvin Chapman
Uruguay women are the first of seven (7) international teams to arrive in Guyana for the anticipated and historic 7th Indoor Pan American Cups (IPAC) that will be played in the “land of many waters” for the first time with all the stick battles set for the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall (CASH) from Monday, October 16th to Saturday October 21st.
The Uruguayans arrived at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport-Timehri (CJIA) at 13:15hrs yesterday and the confident bunch were already training at 18:00hrs on the recently installed plastic-tile surface at the CASH which is of international standards.
Head coach of Uruguay, which is ranked 23 by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), Nicolas Tixe, expressed assurance in his team despite the magnitude of the tournament during their training session yesterday afternoon. “It’s a big tournament and I know that every team that comes here will try very hard to win. It’s going to be a tough tournament but we have played two Pan Am before and we have some knowledge of the teams but teams like Guyana (Women), we have never seen them play before but judging on the men’s previous performance, we expect them to be competitive,” Tixe explained in his prevalent Spanish accent.
Uruguay will be the one and only of the seven (7) teams competing solely in the women’s competition and they will get their campaign up and running when they clash with debutants and home side, the unknown Guyana women, in the second match of the tournament on Monday at 11:15hrs.
Rossana Paselle, Uruguay’s Goalkeeper and Co-captain explained to Kaieteur Sport during her team’s training session yesterday her satisfaction with the playing surface and the sturdiness of the Uruguayans, “The surface seems to be really good. We are going to try hard to get a good feel in our first practice. We hope that we have a good tournament and reach the final for a chance to be champions but we know we are going to be a rough team, tough to beat but let’s see how it goes.”
The Uruguay squad composes an excellent mixture of experienced and young players, with players including Co-captain Paselle having competed in two Pan-American and one (1) World Cup which they qualified for in 2011. Coach Tixe posited that, “Six of our players are very experienced and we have five (5) newcomers who are young and energetic to bring pace into the team.”