Courtesy of Hockey New Zealand
The Vantage Black Sticks Men have announced their team ahead of the 2018 Odisha Men’s Hockey World Cup which starts later this month. The men will be looking to build on the recent success of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where they came away with the Silver Medal.
The side will be led by experienced defender Blair Tarrant (186 caps) who returns to the squad after missing the Commonwealth Games due to injury. The side will be looking to improve on their most recent world cups where they finished 7th in 2014 and 9th in 2010.
The team departs for Bhubaneswar on the 14th of November where they will travel via Kuala Lumpur and play three matches against the Malaysian team before making their way onto India to start their World Cup campaign.
The Vantage Black Sticks Men's first game is against France on the November 30 at 2:30 am (NZST). The men will then have two further games in their pool against the current Olympic Champions Argentina who the Black Sticks have not come up against since before their Rio 2016 campaign. The men also come up against the 8th-ranked Spain in the final game of their pool play on December 7th.
Jared Panchia is likely going to bring up his 100th cap in the pre-tournament series with Malaysia. The squad is an experienced one which features eight players with over 100 caps.
This will be New Zealand’s tenth appearance at a Hockey World Cup
This will be the first time that Head Coach Darren Smith has had his full availability of players since the team competed on the Gold Coast. The most experienced member of the squad is Shea McAleese (272 caps) who will be looking to add a world cup medal to his two Commonwealth Games medals.
Coach Darren Smiths heads into his 4th world cup and 1st as Head Coach. Smith competed in two world cups as a player where his best finish was 9th in 2002 and was also an assistant coach in the 2010 campaign.
All games will be played at India’s Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar having previously played host to the 2014 Champions Trophy. The stadiums capacity has been increased for this prestigious event to 15,000 seats.
Sky Sport will be providing comprehensive coverage of all the games starting on the 29th November at 12:30 am where Belgium takes on Canada. The Vantage Black Sticks first game will be on Sky Sport 4 at 2:30 am on November 30 where the men will take on France.
New Zealand's men's team for the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018:
Arun Panchia (VC)
Blair Tarrant (C)
For all information regarding the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018, including the full schedule, teams, news and more, click .