WWC17ca PREVIEW: Canada
Canada hopes the third IFAF Women’s World Championship is the charm as they host the 2017 tournament from June 24-30 in Langley, BC. They hope to improve upon a pair of silver medals earned at the 2010 and 2013 tournaments.
“We’re heading into this year’s tournament looking to win gold,” said head coach Jeff Yausie who returns at the helm of Canada’s women’s national team for a second straight tournament. “That’s our goal and we know it’s not going to be easy.”
As they go for gold, Canada benefit from the return of an experienced coaching staff who will lead a more athletic team in 2017.
“As compared to 2013, based on what we saw at the 2016 Women’s National Championship our team is going to be younger and faster,” said Yausie. “We’re hoping that this helps us close the gap with an always tough US team and helps us matchup against the other nations which continue to improve.”
The host nation returns 13 athletes from the 2013 tournament including QB Aimee Kowalski, fresh off a 2017 WWCFL Championship victory with the Regina Riot. Among the returnees are original 2010 national team members Trina Graves, Christine O’Donnell, and Alex Black whose experience will help in Canada’s third world championship medal run.
“It’s going to be a wide-open Women’s World Championship as three of the nations have never competed in this tournament before,” Yausie explained as Great Britain, Australia and Mexico are all set for their tournament debuts.
The host nation begins the tournament with a tough matchup on June 24 against tournament newcomer Australia. Canada will need to be in top form as Australia will be well coached. Former Team USA player and NFL coach Jen Welter will serve as the program’s first head coach.
On June 27, Canada will face the winner of the 2015 European Championship rematch between newcomer, Great Britain and two-time bronze medalist, Finland.
“We’re going to work towards playing for gold on June 30. It would be a great way to ring in Canada’s 150th birthday on July 1 but we know it will be a tough task,” said Yausie. “We’re going to stay focused and come together during training camp with the goal of representing Canada with pride.”
Players to watch
|Aimee Kowalski||QB||Regina Riot|
|Virginie Rousseau||LB||Montreal Blitz|
|Olivia DeMarchant||RB||Capital Area Lady Gladiators|
|Beckie Heninger||DB||Calgary Rage|
Women’s tackle football in Canada
The Montreal Blitz was established in 2001 and are currently playing their inaugural season in the Women’s Football Alliance against US competition after many years as the sole Canadian entry in the Independent Women’s Football League.
Canada’s first female league, the Maritime Women’s Football League was established in 2004, growing from two to four teams.
Following the inaugural 2010 IFAF Women’s World Championship, the Western Women’s Canadian Football League (WWCFL) was born and played its inaugural season in 2011. The league now boasts eight teams from across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
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