Friday, October 2, 2009


While the Malaysian coaches are in the process of dropping three of our experienced internationals from the World Cup Qualifiers, New Zealand have opted for experience.

New Zealand Coach Shane McLeod named his squad with a core of returning veterans including the likes of Ryan Archibald, Dean Couzins (Auckland), Phil Burrows (Wellington), Blair Hopping (North Harbour) and Hayden Shaw (Canterbury) who have all played over 150 Tests.

These Hockey stalwarts will provide some much needed experience ahead of a tough campaign to qualify for and succeed at the World Cup.

Four new players have made the twenty 24-strong squad, off the back of solid performances at the National Hockey League and the Junior World Cup.

Hugo Inglis (Midlands) Priyesh Bhana, Joseph Bartholomew (North Harbour) and Blair Hilton (Wellington) are the new faces.

Bartholomew, Hilton and Inglis were all members of the Junior Black Sticks team that came fourth at the Junior World Cup in June 2009.

New to the development squad are Jason Niles (Canterbury), Matt L'Huillier (Wellington) and Auckland midfielder, Marcus Child, who was also a member of the successful Junior Black Sticks team.

Other changes include David Green and Shay Neal moving from the National Squad to the Development Squad, with expectations to lead those less experienced players.

Notable absences from this year's national squad are Midlands' player Lloyd Stephenson and North Harbour's David Kosoof and who have both retired from international hockey.

The Black Sticks Men will go into camp later this month to prepare for their November qualifying tournament where they will be up against Austria, China, Malaysia, Scotland and Wales.