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Tsawwassen's Short & McManus lead Canada into World Cup

It's not the first time Canada's standout defender has been coached by a member of the Short family during her athletic career
McManus and Short
Tsawwassen's Rob Short (top row far right) and Sara McManus (bottom row far left) lead Canada into its first appearance at the World Cup in 28 years, starting against host Spain on Friday.

Sara McManus and Rob Short are proof just how small Tsawwassen can be.

Short took over the head coaching duties of the national women’s field hockey team last September and promptly guided Canada to its first appearance in the World Cup in 28 years. That tournament starts on Friday (July 1) against host Spain at the Olympic Stadium in Terrassa.

One of the players he will be leaning on is McManus who is among Canada’s all-time international capped players with 195 appearances for her country. It’s not the first time the 28-year-old standout defender has been coached by a Short.

“Rob’s brother Mark was actually one of my youth soccer coaches,” chuckled McManus in a recent interview with the Optimist. “I also did some individual skill sessions with Rob and (his other brother) Peter out in Tsawwassen when I was younger. Rob ended up helping coach the (national) junior team at one point. We were also both playing on the national teams at the same time so we would also be seeing each other at tournaments.

“It’s been great working with him so far.”

Short has played in two World Cups and two Olympic Games and now brings his big-game experience to coaching at the World Cup level. He notes the roster composition gives his team that veteran flavour with the added injection of youth throughout the line-up.

“Our core group that has spent many years getting to this moment is ready to perform, lead, and show the country that we can compete alongside the world’s best,” Short said. “We are excited for them, but also excited for our younger players who have an opportunity to experience a World Cup so early in their career.”

He notes how special it is to qualify after 28 years and how the community has got behind his team, including fundraising skill clinics that featured a stop at Winskill Park in Tsawwassen last month.

“This is the work of many people over many years. From youth coaches to provincial coaches, to individual and team sponsors, to athlete’s and staff’s families, so much has been done behind the scenes,” he said. “For Canada to be back in the World Cup after so long, it’s truly a testament to everyone’s hard work over the years. It’s a special time for women’s field hockey in Canada.”