The successful Black Sticks Women’s side that won the Oceania Cup last month has been retained to contest the Champions Challenge in October. Promising young school girl striker Sam Harrison, (18), has also been added to the squad to allow Coach Mark Hager to continue her development at international level.
Sam, the younger sister of Charlotte Harrison, debuted for the Black Sticks against China and Argentina in July.
The squad of 18 will head to the Champions Challenge on October 1 with the goal of finishing in the top four of the eight-team tournament.
The squad does not include experienced midfielder Stacey Carr, who suffered a knee injury playing for Canterbury in the recent NHL in Christchurch. Carr is not being replaced.
The tournament will be played in Cape Town between October 11 – 18. Participants are Azerbaijan (world ranking 13), Chile (17), Italy (16), Japan (6th), Korea (9th), New Zealand 11th), Spain (7th ) and South Africa (12th).
The winner of the tournament gains entry to the next Champions Trophy contested by the top six teams in the world.
Black Sticks Coach Mark Hager sees the tournament as good opportunity to continue growing the confidence of his still relatively inexperienced squad. “We have a lot of work to do to compete with the top six teams in the world but we are heading in the right direction,” he says.
The side showed growing maturity and grit to come back from a two goal deficit against fourth ranked Australia in Invercargill last Sunday, to eventually prevail on strokes. Wellington-based keeper Beth Jurgeleit was outstanding during the final. Australia were awarded 11 penalty corners in normal time and four in extra time, and only converted one.
Three of the teams, Japan, Spain and Korea are ranked above New Zealand. The Black Sticks international ranking of 11, unfortunately did not change after the recent upset win over Australia in Invercargill.
The team will play three build-up matches against South Africa in Stellenbosch, near Capetown, before the tournament.
Before that the squad will be involved in playing for their regional National Hockey League teams. The NHL starts next weekend with the first round being played in Whangarei, Palmerston North, Hamilton and Dunedin. The remaining six rounds and the final will be played in Christchurch from Saturday 19 September to Sunday 27 September.
Black Sticks Women’s Team
1 Kayla Sharland
2 Emily Naylor
3 Krystal Forgesson
4 Kate Saunders
5 Katie Glynn
12 Ella Gunson
15 Beth Jurgeleit
16 Clarissa Eshuis
17 Lucy Talbot
19 Stacey Brannigan
20 Sam Harrison
22 Gemma Flynn
23 Anna Thorpe
25 Kate Mahon
28 Charlotte Harrison
30 Bianca Russell
31 Stacey Michelsen
32 Anita Punt
Coach Mark Hager
Assistant Coach Chris Leslie
Manager Debbie Balme
Physiotherapist Fiona O’Connor
Video Operator Ian Hicks
Source: Hockey New Zealand
Posted 23 hours ago.
USA: Family heirlooms traditionally consist of faded pictures, foreign coins and vintage rings, treasured items with...
Posted 24 hours ago.
Since its foundation in 1969, the European Hockey Federation (EHF) has always valued its players with Best Player,...
Posted 2 days ago.
The Black Sticks Men battled hard but were defeated 2-1 by Korea in the sixth and final test of the series in a wet...
Posted 2 days ago.
The Hockeyroos will welcome back a number of familiar faces as they head to Europe for next month’s Investec Hockey...
Posted 3 days ago.
The Black Sticks Men have lost 1-0 against Korea at Papatoetoe Sports Centre tonight in a game full of speed and...
Posted 3 days ago.
I heard on the news yesterday that Africa has seven of the fastest growing economies in the world. Africa is reputed...