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Black Sticks bolstered for Champions Trophy

Black Sticks bolstered for Champions Trophy

Black-Sticks-bolstered-for-Champions-Trophy

The Black Sticks Women have been bolstered for the FIH Champions Trophy in London later this month

The Black Sticks Women have been bolstered by the return of four experienced players to compete at the FIH Champions Trophy in London later this month.

Fresh from their gold medal victory at the International Hockey Open in Darwin Kayla Whitelock, Gemma Flynn, Stacey Michelsen and Sally Rutherford all return for what serves as the final major tournament before the Black Sticks take to the turf at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

New Zealand will go up against the Netherlands, Argentina, Australia, Great Britain and USA as they battle it out to be crowned the best of the best at the Champions Trophy from 19-27 June.

The Black Sticks open their campaign with a bang in a clash against world number one Netherlands on Sunday 19 June  at 3am (NZ time), with a rematch of the Darwin final against trans-Tasman rivals Australia the following day.

The team is hugely experienced with only four players who have less than 100 international caps while Flynn (231), Whitelock (235), Michelsen (201), Emily Gaddum (274), Anita McLaren (232) and Charlotte Harrison (207) combine for well over 1000 games.

New Zealand will be captained by a leadership group in London which includes Michelsen, Charlton, McLaren and Liz Thompson.

Head coach Mark Hager said the tournament against some of the world’s best sides provides the last chance for players to step up for Olympic selection.

“We have built a great deal of depth within our squad and Olympic selection is still wide open. There were plenty of players who performed well in Darwin and that, along with Champions Trophy will be taken into consideration,” Hager said.

“Champions Trophy will be a good gauge of where we’re at, there are no easy games and that will help identify any weaknesses we need to tighten up in the last phase before Rio.

“We have proven that we can win big games against tough opposition so it’s now about continuing to progress to ensure we peak at the right time.”

In the last edition of the Champions Trophy in December 2014, the Black Sticks finished fourth after being edged 2-1 by Netherlands in the bronze medal game.

The New Zealand Women’s Olympic team will be selected following the conclusion of the tournament.

CLICK HERE for the full Champions Trophy match schedule

BLACK STICKS WOMEN
Champions Trophy, London

SHIRT #

PLAYER NAME

REGION

POSITION

AGE

CAPS

13

Sam CHARLTON

Midlands

Defender/Midfielder

24

171

17

Sophie COCKS

Canterbury

Striker/Midfielder

21

100

22

Gemma FLYNN

Midlands

Midfielder/Striker

26

231

2

Emily GADDUM

Central

Defender

30

274

10

Amelia GIBSON

Auckland

Goalkeeper

24

54

12

Ella GUNSON

Northland

Midfielder/Defender

26

142

23

Charlotte HARRISON

Auckland

Striker

26

207

26

Pippa HAYWARD

Canterbury

Defender/Midfielder

25

102

24

Rose KEDDELL

Midlands

Defender/Midfielder

22

121

32

Anita McLAREN

Capital

Midfielder

28

232

4

Olivia MERRY

Canterbury

Striker

24

125

31

Stacey MICHELSEN

Northland

Midfielder/Defender

25

201

9

Brooke NEAL

Northland

Defender

23

81

18

Kirsten PEARCE

North Harbour

Striker

25

46

8

Sally RUTHERFORD

Midlands

Goalkeeper

34

105

16

Liz THOMPSON

Auckland

Defender

21

108

6

Petrea WEBSTER

North Harbour

Striker/Midfielder

26

137

1

Kayla WHITELOCK

Central

Midfielder/Striker

30

243

  • June 7th, 2016 in
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