New Zealand stalwart Emily Naylor will not feature in the upcoming Argentina Hockey World League Final event in San Miguel de Tucuman.
New Zealand stalwart Emily Naylor will not feature in the upcoming Argentina Hockey World League Final event in San Miguel de Tucuman.
(Photo: FIH / Grant Treeby)

IN THE NEWS - NEW ZEALAND: Kayla Sharland, Emily Naylor. The names go hand in hand in the Black Sticks squad. Where one has gone, generally so has the other. Both hail from Manawatu.

Captain Sharland has 192 caps going back to her debut 10 years ago; Naylor has played 225 times since 2004 and is a senior figure in the leadership group.

But it won't be so at the World League final in Argentina, starting on November 30.

In a rare splitting of two of New Zealand's finest players, Naylor is sitting the event out as she's to be bridesmaid at former international Stacey Carr's wedding.

Sharland, in the half of the Black Sticks squad which flew out to Chile yesterday (the other half went a day earlier), admits she'll notice the absence of her longtime teammate.

"I was actually thinking it's going to be a bit odd not having Emily there," said Sharland, a year older than Naylor at 28. 

"Pretty much every tour I've been on she's been there. But the other girls will step up in leadership roles and we'll have to work harder in defence because Emily is a solid rock at the back. She picks up a lot of scraps and we'll have to be on our game."

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Source: The New Zealand Herald