Super Short eyes London farewell

Canadian striker Rob Short’s career is the just the opposite of his name – long.

Rob Short

Having made his debut back in 1995 at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico where his country finished runners-up, the 39-year-old striker still appears fresh and fit as a debutant – his salt and pepper mop and a few wrinkles the only giveaways of his battered body.

Still a very important member of the Canadian team along with fellow veteran and close friend Ken Pereira, the owner of 341 international caps indicated his burning ambition of playing the London Olympics with a man-of-the-match winning performance in the opening tie against Italy here at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium.

“I don’t think I played really well to deserve this,” gushed Short after scoring a brace in the 9-0 mauling of Italy. “It is definitely a great start to our campaign, and we hope to maintain the intensity right throughout. It has set the tempo and it is very important to feed off from that.”

A poker player who loves fly-fishing and golf, Short said he is determined to seal the ticket to London as this could be his last shot at the Olympics. “Age is catching up and I feel this might be my last opportunity.

“The entire team is focused on securing a spot in the London Olympics. Playing the Olympics is a dream for anybody, and having been there, I know how special it is. This is my third trip to New Delhi after the World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, and I want to make it memorable,” added a confident Short, who is the second oldest player in the Olympics Qualifiers after Agustin Nunez (40).

A regular in the Euro Hockey League where he guided his club of nine years -- HGC -- to the title in 2010, Short said he works as hard as anyone to maintain his fitness. “The game has changed a lot and become faster too. I still remember 15 years back when the sticks used to be made of complete wood and were far heavier than today.

“However, I guess it compensates for swiftness of today. Coming back to fitness, I work as hard as anybody. I keep myself engaged with the game. When I am not playing for my country, I am there in Europe and training with some of the best players, it really helps.”

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