Hager selects side that will compete in Argentina
As the Black Sticks Men take a break from the turf over summer, the Black Sticks Women are back in full swing preparing for the 2012 FIH Champions Trophy to be held in Rosario, Argentina from 28 Jan-5 Feb.
Black Sticks Women’s coach Mark Hager announced a team today which is almost unchanged from the bronze medal performing side that competed at the Champions Trophy in Amsterdam earlier this year.
With only two changes - North Harbour’s Rhiannon Dennison and Midlands player Samantha Charlton replacing Anna Thorpe and Ella Gunson – Hager says the team knows how difficult it will be to replicate their medal winning form of 2011.
“This tournament is the last chance to assess ourselves against the top eight teams and analyse and scout other teams in preparation for the London Olympics. We know it will be a real challenge to get onto the podium again,” says Hager.
The Black Sticks have a strong competition schedule leading into the Champions Trophy.
The team will compete at a Four Nations Tournament in Cordoba (Argentina) against Korea, Great Britain and Argentina from 18-22 February. They then go to Rosario to play a practice match against Japan and China.
“The Four Nations and practice games give the team a chance to compete, as well as rest key players in the lead up to the Champions Trophy,” says Hager.
Playing in Pool B, the Black Sticks will take on number two side Argentina first up before facing eighth ranked Korea and third ranked Germany. Of note, is that three of the teams in this pool were in the top four at last year’s Champions Trophy – New Zealand, Argentina and Korea.
A revised Champions Trophy format from 2011 will see teams go from pool play to quarter and semi-finals rather than points determining the final day medal play-offs.
In total, the team will have 10 international tests and two practice games under their belt by mid February.
Training on the new blue turf at Westlake Girls, the team have their last training session tomorrow before they break for Christmas and return to the turf on the 4th January. The team depart for Argentina on Sunday 15 January.
Click here for the team list
Hockey NZ Media Release