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Vantage Black Sticks Squads announced for 2022

Nine new caps and the first selection by men’s head coach Greg Nicol are the main features of the 2022 Vantage Black Sticks (VBS) Men’s and Women’s teams being named today.

After a disrupted 2021 season both Nicol and women’s head coach Graham Shaw are looking forward to an exciting year with World Cups (women’s in July, men’s in January 2023) the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August, and Trans-Tasman competition on the horizon.

Shaw and Nicol were able to assess  players at the recent selection camps which saw the country’s brightest talent come together over several days. 25 players from the men’s team and 24 women (with one more to be added) have been awarded contracts based on their performances at the camp and at international and club level.

Five new caps and the return of Hayden Phillips headline Nicol’s first VBS Men’s selection. The uncapped players are Charl Ulrich, Simon Yorston, Tim Neild, Joe Morrison, and Jordan Cohen, who all impressed selectors at the camp and have been rewarded with a call-up to the national side. 

Olympian Hayden Phillips also makes a return after several years out of the programme. Phillips, who has won 89 caps for the VBS, has been playing in England for the last two years and is now booking his flights back to New Zealand to join the squad.

Nicol is excited to get stuck in. “Our 2022 squad has a nice balance of experience, blended with some fresh new talent. It’s always great selecting players into the squad for the first time, so I’m really looking forward to seeing the range of skills and energy they will bring to our training environment. There were some difficult choices to make and the players who haven’t made the team will no doubt have something to prove.

“The months ahead will be a challenge as we navigate our way back into some international hockey, and then look to build for the Commonwealth Games in August. But I’m confident we will meet that challenge head on.”

Shaw has also called in some fresh talent ahead of the Women’s World Cup with four new selections. Casey Crowley, Alex Lukin, Ella Hyatt-Brown and Rose Tynan have all earned a place in the VBS Women’s side for the first time.

The squad features a strong family connection with sisters Katie and Madi Doar selected together for the first time since 2019; the Crowley cousins, Anna and Casey, have also made the side.

The women’s programme has a short and busy three month build up to the World Cup in July before regrouping for the Commonwealth Games in August and Shaw believes that preparation will be key.

“It’s important we hit the ground running as a squad in order to prepare as well as possible in difficult circumstances. We’ll focus on our daily training environment, the standards we bring to training as well as the other things we can control within the team to prepare ourselves for an exciting few months ahead.

“We’re excited with this new squad and the qualities they can all bring. Some players have been selected for the first time, which is very exciting for them and their families, and I know they’ll be determined to make their mark.” 

After the Tokyo Olympics, several senior players retired or have withdrawn from the programme for 2022. Shea McAleese, Stacey Michelsen, and Ella Gunson all retired after outstanding international careers. In the men’s programme Nick Wilson, Nick Ross, Stephen Jenness, and Steve Edwards have made the decision to step away for a year so they can focus on their careers. In the women’s programme Samantha Charlton and Kelsey Smith have made the difficult decision to withdraw from selection as they rehabilitate from injuries. Kayla Whitelock is expecting her third child and rehabilitating from injury. While Rose Keddell, Georgia Barnett, and Julia King will take 2022 off to focus on their careers.

Men

David Brydon, Jordan Cohen*, Dom Dixon, George Enersen, Sean Findlay, Leon Hayward, Sam Hiha, Hugo Inglis, Kim Kingstone, Sam Lane, Dane Lett, Oliver McIntyre, Harry Miskimmin, Joe Morrison*, Tim Neild*, Hayden Phillips, Brad Read, Kane Russell, Aidan Sarikaya, Jacob Smith, Blair Tarrant, Dylan Thomas, Charl Ulrich*, Nick Woods, Simon Yorston*

Women

Kaitlin Cotter, Anna Crowley, Casey Crowley*, Tarryn Davey, Frances Davies, Stephanie Dickins, Madison Doar, Katie Doar, Megan Hull, Ella Hyatt-Brown*, Alia Jaques, Tyler Lench, Alex Lukin*, Olivia Merry, Grace O’Hanlon, Holly Pearson, Hope Ralph, Deanna Ritchie, Brooke Roberts, Olivia Shannon, Elizabeth Thompson, Catherine Tinning, Lulu Tuilotolava, Rose Tynan* *denotes uncapped player

  • March 1st, 2022 in
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