Kayla Sharland (right) is likely to reach 200 caps at the Argentina Hockey World League Final in Tucuman.
Kayla Sharland (right) is likely to reach 200 caps at the Argentina Hockey World League Final in Tucuman.
(Photo: FIH / Stanislas Brochier.)

The three debutantes named in the Black Sticks Women’s team for the recent Oceania Cup are packing their bags again – however this time, they will be taking on the top eight teams at the World League Final in Tucuman, Argentina.

Brooke Neal (Midlands), Elizabeth Thompson (Auckland) and Sophie Cocks (Canterbury) are in head coach Mark Hager’s line-up alongside some more experienced names.

Captain Kayla Sharland, Krystal Forgesson, Gemma Flynn and Anita Punt join the newbies with Sharland likely to reach 200 international test caps and Flynn set to play her 150th game while away.

Hager notes there is no easy pool in this tournament - the Black Sticks will face current World Champions Argentina as well as Australia and China in Pool B, while Pool A includes reigning Olympic champions the Netherlands alongside England, Germany and Korea.

“It will be a hard challenge – we will face Argentina at home, Australia is playing well at the moment and China is a bit unknown, but it is another opportunity to play against the top eight teams ahead of a big year of hockey in 2014,” says Hager.   

In the first six months of next year, the Black Sticks Women will play a Four Nations in the United States in February, a Six Nations Tournament in Hawke’s Bay in April, the World Cup in Holland in June and then the Commonwealth Games in July.  

Ranking points are up for grabs at Tucuman, with the points being recalculated following the tournament to determine the pools for the 2014 World Cup. “There is nothing in it when it comes to the rankings - it is so tight between the top countries."

Tucuman is nine hours north of Rosario and can get up to 40 degrees Celsius at this time of year, which is why the Black Sticks are arriving a week early and playing three games against Chile in Santiago before heading North.

“We have only had the four Oceania Cup games since World League Three in June so playing Chile is another good chance for this group to play together,” says Hager. 

Emily Naylor, Stacey Michelsen, Katie Glynn and Aniwaka Roberts are not available for the World League Final due to injury or personal reasons.

Black Sticks Women's Team

Argentina Hockey World League Final


Player Name

Position

Age

Caps

Kayla SHARLAND


Midfielder

28

192

Krystal FORGESSON


Midfielder

31

187

Olivia MERRY


Striker

21

18

Petrea WEBSTER


Striker

25

38

Sally RUTHERFORD


Goalkeeper

32

45

Brooke NEAL


Defender

21

4

Amelia GIBSON


Goaleeper

22

18

Danielle JONES


Defender

22

17

Sam CHARLTON


Defender

21

64

Julia KING


Midfielder

20

52

Liz THOMPSON


Defender

18

3

Sophie COCKS


Striker

19

4

Bridget BLACKWOOD


Defender

22

40

Rhiannon DENNISON


Defender

20

18

Gemma FLYNN


Striker

23

145

Rose KEDDELL


Defender

19

27

Pippa HAYWARD


Defender

23

24

Anita PUNT


Midfielder

26

132

Source: Hockey New Zealand