“She is the [Christine] Sinclair of defenders. She just brings it every game. We’ll find some areas to keep working on, but she’s got the chance to be the best in the world in her position.” These were the words Canada’s national team coach John Herdman used to describe Kadeisha Buchanan earlier this year, after she shone in a senior international against USA.
The 18-year-old has again been one of the standout performers in the hosts’ squad at this summer’s FIFA-20 Women’s World Cup 2014, so it was no surprise to see Herdman making the most of another opportunity to scrutinise the defender in Canada’s quarter-final against Germany.
When asked by FIFA.com about the senior coach’s assessment, Buchanan replied: “At first I thought ‘Oh, that’s a big compliment’. But now that everybody is saying it, it’s giving me more of an idea that it could happen. I definitely intend to be the next Christine Sinclair, and I’m working towards it every day.”
Eyes firmly fixed on the future
The hosts’ dream of winning the title on home soil finally came to an end after the Canadians were forced to accept a 2-0 quarter-final defeat by two-time world champions Germany. “Overall it was a pretty good match,” Buchanan said. “We kept going at them. But Germany have a great team both in attack and defence. They caused us a lot of problems and they got the goals, and that’s all there is to it.”
Although she and her team-mates were ultimately unable to secure their passage to the next round, Buchanan was satisfied with her performance. “I got over my nerves in the first match,” she explained. “The second game was a downer because they (Finland) scored two goals. But we definitely regrouped as a back four and came out with a 1-0 against Korea DPR. I definitely grew throughout the tournament and hope to improve even more.”
The West Virginia University defender also knows exactly what her side needs to work on to succeed in future. “The team has got to stay connected and stick to the task that we’ve been given. We need to keep playing to our game-plan and keep things tight from front to back. That’s the main thing we have to work on in future.”
Another chance for Buchanan in 2015
The future in question is a bright one, and not just for Buchanan. More than 22,000 fans packed out the Commonwealth Stadium to support their U-20 women and create further anticipation ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015™.
“All the crowds that have supported us have been fantastic,” the defender said. “It has been an awesome atmosphere, and I hope it keeps going through the remaining matches to support the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.”
Buchanan may well get another chance to shine in front of a home crowd before too long. “I’m definitely looking forward to the tournament next year,” she exclaimed. Before that, a new set of U-20 women’s world champions need to be crowned, and the 18-year-old believes two sides have the best chance to succeed. “I think France or Germany; both have really good teams.”
On 24 August we will discover just how accurate her predictions have been.