The New Zealand Women begin their Beijing Olympics preparation with a series of seven practice matches against Korea at North Harbour starting on Thursday.
These matches are not official tests and will be used by Coach Kevin Towns to give a large group of players an opportunity to push for selection into the Black Sticks squad of 20 who will centralize in January and prepare for Beijing. The Black Sticks squad will be named at the conclusion of this series.
For this series of practice matches against Korea the players will not go into camp. A different selection will play each match.
Three players, Frances Kreft, Lizzie Ryan and Bianca Russell have been drafted into the series to help cover for a host of injuries. Not available for selection are: Beth Jurgeleit (first 5 games), Jo Galletly , Meredith Orr, Krystal Forgesson, Lizzy Igasan, Kate Mahon, Anita Wawatai, Stacey Carr, Katie Glynn.
Next year two series are planned in Auckland against Korea and China in February, followed by matches against China in Beijing in March. The Black Sticks will then compete in a Six Nation tournament in Hong Kong in June in the final lead up to the Beijing Olympics. Competing nations are: New Zealand, Australia, Korea, Japan, Germany and Great Britain.
All games are at Crown Relocations Stadium, Albany.
Match times are:
Thursday 15 November at 18:00
Saturday 17 November at 15:00
Sunday 18 November at 15:00
Tuesday 20 November at 18:00
Thursday 22 November at 18:00
Saturday 24 November at 15:00
Sunday 25 November at 15:00
The squad to compete is Jaimee Claxton, Laura Douglas, Tara Drysdale, Kelsey Dunn, Gemma Flynn, Kimberley Green. Charlotte Harrison, Beth Jurgeleit, Frances Kreft, Jasmine McQuinn, Stacey Michelsen, Alana Millington, Emily Naylor, Kim Noakes, Caryn Paewai, Sheree Phillips, Niniwa Roberts, Melody Rowe, Lizzie Ryan, Kate Saunders, Kayla Sharland, Anna Thorpe, Bianca Russell.
Source: Hockey New Zealand
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