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Vantage Black Sticks set to take on Belgium in milestone matches

Vantage Black Sticks Women vs Belgium Women. Monday 17th June at 02:30am. Coverage is on Spark Sport

On Monday Morning the Vantage Black Sticks Women are set to face the Belgium Women for the second and final time in the FIH Pro League. At the start of February, the Belgium Women stunned the Black Sticks 1-0 with a goal in the last minutes of the match. The New Zealand side will be looking to even the ledger as they continue to build on some strong form they have been showing in their overseas matches.

Graham Shaw the Vantage Black Sticks Women’s coach commented on the performance against the Netherlands “We played well in patches during the game putting together some good connections and creating some nice goal scoring opportunities. We are looking to play with more confidence in the attacking end going into the Belgium game. We were disappointed in the way we conceded the goals as we felt we could have controlled their attacks a bit better. Belgium will provide a new challenge but we are very much focusing on ourselves and the improvements we can make, game by game”.

The match is going to be an incredibly special one for the Black Sticks Women as their Captain Stacey Michelsen is set to play her 265th match for the New Zealand side. This will make her the most capped Vantage Black Sticks Women’s player of all time.

The player that Michelsen is going to overtake to become the most capped player is former team mate Emily Gaddum who stated “It’s been an honour to hold this record and now pass on the achievement to an absolute legend of the game. It has been a pleasure playing alongside and watching Stacey develop into one of the world’s best. A huge congratulations to Stacey and I wish her and the girls all the best for the upcoming match”.

Graham Shaw commented ahead of the milestone match for Michelsen “Stacey Michelsen is not just an incredible hockey player but a fantastic person as well. She leads by example on and off the field and deserves every recognition she gets in becoming the most Capped Vantage Black Stick Women’s player of all time. The New Zealand hockey community, world hockey and the wider New Zealand public are very lucky to be watching a truly World Class hockey player. We are delighted she is our team and we hope Stacey will continue to be a Black Sticks player for many years to come”.

In her 264 matches to date Stacey has scored 32 goals, been to two Olympic Games (London 2012 and Rio 2016). She also has a complete collection of medals from the Commonwealth Games.

Michelsen commented “Being given an opportunity at such a young age to play so many games is what helped me develop as a player. The more opportunities that you get testing yourself against the top opposition the faster you will develop”.

Not content yet she still has goals that she wants to achieve in hockey “I would love the opportunity to go to another Olympic Games, my goal is to be in that Olympic Games team and to have another opportunity at winning an Olympic Medal”.

Key Matchup
Fresh off a brace of goals against the Netherlands, Olivia Merry will be looking to find the back of the net again as she looks to build on her tournament leading 11 goals in the FIH Pro League. Merry is a physical presence up front for the New Zealand side and when given space in the circle is capable of putting a goal past any defence in the game.

Belgium has an experienced player of their own in Jill Boon who has amassed a whopping 291 games in her career. Boon has enjoyed a good record against the New Zealand team having played them six times and scoring twice in those games.

Name

Position

Caps

Sam Charlton

Midfielder

240

Tarryn Davey

Midfielder

50

Katie Doar

Midfielder

6

Steph Dickins

Defender

21

Ella Gunson

Defender

210

Megan Hull

Defender

18

Brooke Neal

Defender

164

Rose Keddell

Midfielder

196

Olivia Merry

Striker

219

Stacey Michelsen ©

Midfielder

274

Alia Jaques

Midfielder

9

Grace O’Hanlon

Goalkeeper

53

Kirsten Pearce

Striker

116

Sally Rutherford

Goalkeeper

179

Olivia Shannon

Striker

12

Holly Pearson

Striker / Midfielder

7

Liz Thompson

Defender

185

Amy Robinson

Striker

70

Shiloh Gloyn

Striker

87

*One to be omitted

Vantage Black Sticks Men vs Belgium Men. Monday 17th June at 12:30am. Coverage is on Spark Sport

The Black Sticks Men will take to the turf in the early hours of Monday morning against the World Champion Belgium Men’s team. These two sides met at the start of February and battled it out for a highly entertaining 4-4 draw. Belgium comes in to the match having rebounded from back to back losses against the Dutch with an absolute hammering of Germany 8-0.

The Black Sticks Men have looked impressive in the European matches of the FIH Pro League as they have battled it out for draws against two of the top sides in the competition. The New Zealand Men had their chances to collect the three competition points when they took on Germany in Krefeld. Unfortunately, the German team kept fighting as they denied the New Zealand side their first win of the 2019 FIH Pro League.

Vantage Black Sticks Men’s Coach Darren Smith commented ahead of the match with Belgium “It will be a tight turnaround to get from Madrid on Friday evening up to Antwerp for the match against Belgium on Sunday. We made sure that the team had a run on the Antwerp pitch two weeks ago when we first arrived because we knew that there would be no opportunity for a training prior to the game”

“It will be a great match and of course we know that they are a tough opponent but getting the chance to meet on their home soil will be an exciting occasion. The last time we met In NZ it was a quick and high scoring encounter, which finished 4-4. Both teams like to play at pace and we will need to make sure that we defend well, put them under pressure and take our chances”.

Key Matchup 
Tom Boon from Belgium is an attacking threat from anywhere on the field. Boon leads the charge for the Belgium team with 8 goals in the FIH Pro League. A veteran of 277 matches now in which he has scored 104 goals. Watch out for Tom Boon if he is given any opportunities to run as he will look to make the New Zealand defence pay.

Stephen Jenness got himself back on the score sheet for the Black Sticks Men with the first goal in the opening minute against Germany. Jenness has been finding some great space in behind the opposition defence, if the New Zealand team is able to feed him some good ball watch out for the opportunities Jenness will create for the team.

 

Name

Position

Caps

Richard Joyce

Goalkeeper

69

George Enersen

Goalkeeper

52

Shea McAleese

Defender

288

Cory Bennett

Defender

86

Dane Lett

Defender

53

Kane Russell

Defender

140

Nic Woods

Midfielder

106

Arun Panchia ©

Defender

270

Nick Ross

Midfielder

107

Marcus Child

Midfielder

151

Aidan Sarikaya

Midfielder

36

Hugo Inglis

Striker

221

Hayden Phillips

Midfielder

80

Jared Panchia

Striker

114

Jacob Smith

Striker

64

Dom Newman

Striker

64

Stephen Jenness

Striker

229

Sam Lane

Striker

42

George Muir

Striker

122

*One to be omitted

  • June 14th, 2019 in
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