New Zealand head coach Colin Batch stated that his team are ready for the challenge of the Hero Hockey World League Final, and has targeted a top six finish.
New Zealand head coach Colin Batch stated that his team are ready for the challenge of the Hero Hockey World League Final, and has targeted a top six finish.
(Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek)

NEW DELHI: New Zealand head coach Colin Batch is eyeing a top-six finish in the Hero Hockey World League Final to be held at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi from January 10-18.

"The team is trying a new playing composition with some new players and we aim at finishing in the top 6 at the end of the tournament," said Batch.

New Zealand will open their campaign in the eight-nation tournament against Olympic champions Germany and Batch said the team was ready for the challenge.

"Our opening match is against Germany and hence the match will not be an easy one for us. The boys have worked on their passes and techniques of tackling the opposition which will help us win matches during the league," he said.

New Zealand players had a rigorous training session under the watchful eye of Batch at the National Stadium.

Batch said acclimatising to the "tricky" weather condition in the capital also remained a challenge for his wards.

"It is cold in the night and warm during the day, hence playing under such conditions can prove to be tricky."

New Zealand captain Dean Couzins discussed his team's matches against Pool A rivals Germany, India and England.

"We are working hard to improve our technique and looking forward to our matches against Germany, India and England. We have come in with some new players hoping this will help us improve our game during the tournament," Couzins said after a practice session.

New Zealand have been clubbed alongside Germany, England, hosts India and New Zealand in Pool A, while Pool B consists of Netherlands, Argentina, Australia and Belgium. 

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The full New Zealand squad for the event can be found below. Promising defender Kane Russell has been rewarded for his sublime form at the recent Hero Hockey Junior World Cup, with his seven tournament goals earning him a place in the Black Sticks squad for the HWL Final. 

More information about the tournament can be found by clicking here

Shirt #NameDate of BirthAge *Caps
* Age as of 10-01-2014
2 BENNETT Cory 12-07-1991 22 22
4 HAIG Nick 12-03-1987 26 123
6 CHILD Simon 16-04-1988 25 183
8 COUZINS Dean (C) 09-06-1981 32 290
9 HILTON Blair 28-08-1989 24 103
11 SMITH Jacob 03-04-1991 22 26
13 CHILD Marcus 02-03-1991 22 44
16 McGREGOR Hamish (GK) 30-01-1988 25 23
18 BURROWS Phil 25-04-1980 33 306
19 SHAW Alex 23-01-1990 23 30
20 MANCHESTER Devon (GK) 11-11-1989 24 18
21 RUSSELL Kane 22-04-1992 21 18
22 TARRANT Blair 11-05-1990 23 85
24 PANCHIA Arun 22-04-1989 24 114
25 McALEESE Shea 07-08-1984 29 185
27 JENNESS Stephen 07-06-1990 23 91
29 INGLIS Hugo 18-01-1991 22 111
31 EDWARDS Steve 25-01-1986 27 159

Note: All team lists are subject to change until the end of the Team Managers meeting on Thursday 9th January. 

Source Material: The Times of India