A possible fifth Olympics for Whitelock as 2021 National Squad named
Two new caps and a former captain striving for her fifth Olympics are the main features of the 2021 Vantage Black Sticks Women’s squad named today.
Black Sticks Head Coach Graham Shaw has been able to call upon six players with more than 200 international caps for the all-important 2021 season including Kayla Whitelock, who if selected for Tokyo will be joining an elite group of Kiwis to attend five Olympics.
The two uncapped players in the squad of 25 are Anna Crowley (Southern Alpiners) and Tyler Lench (Northern Tridents) who both impressed the selectors in the recent Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League (PHL).
Black Sticks record-holders Stacey Michelsen (287 caps) and Olivia Merry (112 goals) were in fine touch in the PHL, with Michelsen named Most Valuable Player, and the pair will be central to the team’s medal hopes in Tokyo.
PHL champions the Central Falcons, who went undefeated in the inaugural league, have been rewarded with eight of the champion team being named in the 2021 Black Sticks squad.
The Falcons young strike line was the envy of the competition with rising stars Kaitlin Cotter, Olivia Shannon, Holly Pearson and Hope Ralph all being offered contracts for 2021.
Shaw acknowledged the number of quality players in the group who are very driven to achieve next year.
“The squad is packed with experience from multiple Olympians combined with exciting young players who tracked superbly through 2020 and displayed some excellent performances in the Premier League. Hopefully, we can keep improving leading into Tokyo”.
“When we return to training in January we will emphasise building connections on and off the field to create a cohesive team.. We have outstanding leaders in this group that will bring invaluable experience to the younger players.
“The heat will play a huge factor in Tokyo, so we have selected an extremely athletic squad that we feel will cope with the difficult conditions of potentially 40 degrees.”
The 2021 season is set to be a big one for the Vantage Black Sticks Women with the upcoming Oceania Cup (TBC), postponed Tokyo Olympics and the resumption of the second season of the FIH Hockey Pro League. This will be followed in 2022 by the World Cup and Commonwealth Games.
2021 Vantage Black Sticks Women’s Squad
|Samantha||Charlton||251||N/A – injured||Tauranga|
Vantage Black Sticks Management 2021
Head Coach: Graham Shaw
Manager: Denise Leggat
Assistant Coach: Jude Menezes
Assistant Coach: Colin Stewart
Doctor: Tony Edwards
S & C: Nicolai Morris
Physio: Gabby McCullough
Physiology: Lorenz Kissling
Nutrition: Jeni Pearce
Athlete Life: Carolyn Donaldson
- December 16th, 2020 in