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Black Sticks named for Hockey World League in Belgium

May 26, 2017

Vantage Black Sticks Women’s head coach Mark Hager has named his strongest team to compete at the FIH World League Semi Final in Belgium next month.

New Zealand will battle it out against some of the world’s best sides from 21 June - 2 July at the Stade Fallon in Brussels.

The Black Sticks are joined in Pool B by hosts Belgium, Oceania champions Australia, Spain and Malaysia while Pool A includes reigning world champions Netherlands, Asian champions Korea, China, Scotland and Italy.

Split across two events, 10 teams will take part in Brussels with another 10 competing at the World League Semi Final in Johannesburg from 8-23 July.

With qualification at stake for the FIH World League Final in Auckland this November (New Zealand have automatic qualification as hosts), both Semi Final events also serve as World Cup qualifiers.

Whilst vital FIH Hero World Ranking points will be awarded depending on final standings, the top teams from each Semi Final will qualify for the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup in London.

It’s an experienced side with 10 players having played more than 100 tests while versatile player Stacey Michelsen spearheads the group with 224 caps.

Many players have earned their spot after impressing during February’s Argentina tour, the Hawke’s Bay Cup and the recent Indian series in Pukekohe and Hamilton which the Black Sticks swept 5-0.

Hager said the depth within the group presented some tough selection decisions.

“This is the strongest team we have at present after tests against Argentina, the Hawke’s Bay Cup and also the Indian series this year,” he said.

“There were some very challenging decisions in selecting the final group which shows we have healthy depth at the moment which is great following an Olympic year.

“We know the World League Semi Final will be very tough and it offers the top level competition we need to play amongst to continue developing. We’ll be pushing for a top performance with the ultimate goal to come away having qualified for the World Cup.”


VANTAGE BLACK STICKS WOMEN
Hockey World League Semi-Final, Belgium

SHIRT #

PLAYER NAME

REGION

POSITION

AGE

CAPS

13

Sam CHARLTON

Midlands

Defender

25

188

20

Natasha FITZSIMONS

Midlands

Defender

28

75

3

Erin GOAD

North Harbour

Defender

23

28

27

Jordan GRANT

Canterbury

Midfielder

26

70

12

Ella GUNSON

Northland

Defender

27

157

2

Sam HARRISON

Auckland

Striker

25

113

26

Pippa HAYWARD

Canterbury

Defender

26

132

24

Rose KEDDELL

Midlands

Defender

23

151

11

Rachel McCANN

Canterbury

Midfielder

24

51

4

Olivia MERRY

Canterbury

Striker

25

161

31

Stacey MICHELSEN

Northland

Defender

26

224

9

Brooke NEAL

Northland

Defender

24

111

15

Grace O’HANLON

TBC

Goalkeeper

24

10

18

Kirsten PEARCE

North Harbour

Striker

26

82

6

Amy ROBINSON

Midlands

Striker

21

21

8

Sally RUTHERFORD

Midlands

Goalkeeper

35

139

25

Kelsey SMITH

Capital

Striker

22

46

16

Liz THOMPSON

Auckland

Defender

22

141


19th PLAYER – TRAVELLING WITH TEAM

5

Frances DAVIES

Midlands

Defender

20

14

 

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