As New Zealand’s captain and with 279 international caps to her name, Stacey Michelsen is a crucial element of the Black Sticks team. Her surging runs through the opposition’s defence and unbelievable work ethic are just two of the qualities that have seen the midfielder receive FIH Best Player nominations both for 2019 and the previous season.
Each of the Hockey Stars interviews published on the FIH website are with the nominees for Best Player. The winning athletes will be announced in .
What does the nomination for FIH Best Player mean to you?
Stacey Michelsen: “The nomination is a huge honour. To be chosen as a nominee for the FIH Player of the Year is a huge honour and it is pretty special to be nominated alongside one of my team mates, Olivia Merry. I think it is fantastic for our team to have two people in the nominations.
Looking back to 2019 what was your best and most memorable moment?
Stacey Michelsen: “Both for me and for my team, I think my favourite moment was us winning the Oceania Cup. I think that was a huge step up for us. We didn’t perform consistently throughout the tournament but I think the way we pulled together as a team was really special and I can definitely remember how we felt after that final game. We were so excited to be able to say that we were going to the Olympics.
Why do you think 2019 was such a good year for you?
Stacey Michelsen: “We definitely built through the year. We started off not so great but I think the positive thing for both the team and myself was that we definitely acknowledged that there was a lot of work to do and we were willing to do it. I think that showed in the result at the Oceania Cup.”
What are your dreams and aspirations for this year?
Stacey Michelsen: “For me, individually, it is to be selected for the final team to go to Tokyo. And then, I would love nothing more than for our team to be in the medal rounds. I think that is something that we all strive for and we are training as hard as we can to make sure we give ourselves the best opportunity.”