Priestman Reveals Roster For Brazil Friendlies In Montreal And Halifax
On Wednesday morning Bev Priestman announced her roster for the October international window.
She brings in some new faces while keeping the majority of her roster intact.
The Canadian Women’s National Team head coach is super excited to be playing two preparation games against a good opponent in Brazil.
“With our qualification for Paris 2024 confirmed, we will use our fall window to see and assess more players in the environment,” Priestman said in a press release.
“I’m excited to get the group back together, welcome back in some returning injured players, and for us to build on the good work done in the September window. Now everything we do has to have Paris 2024 in mind.”
Melissa Dagenais from St Hubert, Quebec will be the fourth goalkeeper, and Emma Reagan from Burnaby, BC – who plays for HB Koge in Denmark – is also on the roster. It marks the return for Reagan for the first time since 2018.
“It’s something we needed to do,” Preistman answered when asked about bringing in a fourth goalkeeper who plays for the University of Miami Hurricanes.
“We wanted to be clear on what our depth looks like and we got some great goalkeepers around the world in pro and in college. We see the potential in Melissa is quite high and all the attributes are there. We want to invest in the future and asses her.”
A question was raised about Christine Sinclair, who didn’t feature in the first leg in Kingston against Jamaica but came on as a sub in the second leg. Priestman confirmed she is ready to go.
“What I can confirm is that Christine is available and we have had some confidential conversations on where she is at and what the future looks like…but I am thrilled for the new players who get to do a camp with her and her quality on the training ground and on the pitch.”
One player who we saw at the World Cup but won’t be with the squad is Allysha Chapman, who announced earlier in the week she was pregnant.
“I am absolutely over the moon for Chappy and for anybody who knows her, she is an unbelievable competitor. She has an incredible mindset and if anyone can come back after that it’s her.”
Priestman was asked to give her take on returning to Montreal for the first time since the Gold medal celebration tour back in 2021.
“We played there in the celebration series after winning the gold medal and to play on a weekend will be a great experience and Montreal was desperate to have us and it’s nice to take this team to different parts of the country.”
I had a chance to ask Priestman to give the media and the fans a scouting report of Reagan and what we can expect from her in this window.
“There are positions where we need to asses depth and I can describe Emma as the ultimate professional playing full-back and a 90-minute player but now plays in the midfield and plays with real technical ability and a really intelligent player.”
Priestman compared Reagan to Desiree Scott, who has been out due to injury. She admits it hasn’t been an easy road back for Scott and was able to give us an update on her situation.
“It has not been a straight road back and that is the most difficult thing for Desi and sometimes it doesn’t happen that way so it has been very difficult for her and she is the most positive person in the world and she is desperate to get back in.”
I followed up by asking her about the opportunity to play in Halifax, a city where they haven’t played, and playing in Wanderers Grounds which is known to have an electric crowd for CPL games.
“I can’t wait. We knew it was going to be a little bit cold but with a nice grass pitch, and it’s known to be an electric atmosphere. It sold out very quickly, as expected and it’s our first time.”
In regards to Janine Beckie, who we saw with the team in Toronto slowly integrating her way back with the them, is currently in Portland training with her club and is on track.
“Janine is on track and being the athlete she is, she has gotten the work in. I would expect to see her after Christmas in the windows following to be available and she is working really hard.”
Priestman also confirmed that we should be hearing soon a confirmation for the games in the November/December window.
She was also asked about the opponent Brazil who hired a new coach Gastao Elias and it will be his first official window with his new team.
“It’s a challenge to prepare for a team when you don’t know what the coach is likely to do but we did our research but we are very familiar with Brazil and their tendencies and I know they will come out swinging so it will most likely be a tough battle.”