World-class players to feature in new Premier Hockey League

The Vantage Black Sticks players and many former internationals will go head-to-head in the inaugural Premier Hockey League starting next month.

The eight-team (four men and four women) round-robin competition will run over four extended weekends from 12 November, and will now be held in Hamilton to ensure the wellbeing of all participants. The league was postponed from an August start date due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland.

Hockey New Zealand has today announced the squads and the team names for the new league. The four teams will be called the Northern Tridents, the Hauraki Mavericks, the Central Falcons and the Southern Alpiners

Hockey New Zealand Performance Network Manager Simon Brill says the league is focused on progressing our top players as well as bridging the gap between domestic and international hockey.

“The quality of players in this league is of the highest calibre with a vast array of international performers as well as proven local and developing players spread across the eight squads.”

All Vantage Black Sticks players, except a couple who are injured, are available for the league and will be pushing for selection alongside former internationals and future stars for next year’s postponed FIH Pro League and the Tokyo Olympics.

Nick Wilson returns to elite hockey, having not featured for the Vantage Black Sticks since the Rio Olympics he will be pushing the case for selection for the Tokyo Games in 2021. 

The women’s league will also see several former Vantage Black Sticks looking to push their case for a recall to the national side with experienced internationals Michaela Curtis (Central Falcons), Kirsten Pearce, Lulu Tuilotolava (both Northern Tridents) and Tessa Jopp (Southern Alpiners) making themselves available. 

Hockey NZ wanted a Kiwi feel to the team names with a connection to our land and our people. Brill says they consulted with senior players, administrators, coaches and former players to help choose the Tridents, Mavericks, Falcons and Alpiners names.

The Northern Tridents have been inspired by the stunning stretch of water from the Bay of Islands to the mighty Hauraki Gulf, and they are named after the weapon of choice of Poseidon – the legendary God of Sea.  This team covers the region from Northland to Auckland.

The Hauraki Mavericks cover the middle of the North Island, and the name represents the bringing together of such a large area of people who will break with tradition and come up with the unexpected.

The Central Falcons span the lower North Island, an area which is woven together through the central mountain range where you’ll find the fastest predator on earth – the Falcon or mighty Kārearea.

Our fourth team is the Southern Alpiners, the first time we have had a team encompassing the entire South Island,  connected through the majestic Southern Alps.

Hockey NZ decided to move the league from Auckland to a fully controllable venue in Hamilton to reduce the risk to both our participants and to the event of fluctuating Covid-19 alert levels, particularly in Auckland. 

If the country returned to alert level 2 during the league, the bubble being created at the Hamilton venue would protect the health and wellbeing of the players as it would not be used for any other hockey at the time.

“It is disappointing to have to move the league from the new purpose-built National Hockey Centre in Albany but in securing our ability to deliver the competition – the safety of all our participants must come first,” says Brill.

All 28 matches in the Premier Hockey League will be available free on Sky Sport NEXT and are also able to be viewed on Sky Sport 9.

The full draw will be released next week, and it will be determined closer to the time whether spectators can attend based on alert levels.

Premier Hockey League 2020 Dates  
12-15 November: Women Rounds 1-3 
19-22 November: Men Rounds 1-3
25-29 November: Women Rounds 4-6 and final
2-6 December: Men Rounds 4-6 and final

Premier Hockey League 2020 Men’s Squads

Northern Tridents Men: Cory Bennett (N)Ruan BezuidenhoutRobbie CapizziJames CoughlanBenji EdwardsSteve Edwards (N)Connor GreentreeAngus GriffinXavier GuyMitch HaydeKim KingstoneIsaac HoulbrookeSam HoustonRichard Joyce (N)Richmond LumLiam MortimerGeorge Muir (N)Netesh SukhaMatthew SymondsKieran O’ConnorCharl Ulrich.
Head Coach: Bryce Collins
Assistant Coach: Graham Shaw
Manager: Casey Henwood

Hauraki Mavericks Men: Marcus Child (N)Simon Child (N)Taylor CraigieMalcolm CurleyGarrick du ToitZander FraserCam HaydeLeon Hayward (N)Shae IswarJonty KeaneyCampbell MacleanTim NeildArun Panchia (N)Daniel PanchiaJared Panchia (N)Matt Rees-GibbsDwayne Rowsell (N)Aidan Sarikaya (N)Jacob Soo ChoonNicholas Woods (N)Maks Wyndham-Smith.
Head Coach: Dean Couzins
Assistant Coach: Colin Stewart
Manager: Hugh Biss

Central Falcons Men: Jordan Cohen, Dominic Dixon, Sean Findlay, Stephen Jenness (N), Joe Hanks, Sam Hiha, Harry Lawson, Dane Lett (N), Trent Lett, Patrick Madder , Shea McAleese (N), Harry Miskimmin, Callum Olsen, Brad Read (N), Jacob Smith (N), Dylan Thomas (N), Mackenzie Wilcox, Nicholas Wilson, Matt van Aardt, Benedict van Woerkom.
Head Coach: Mike Delaney
Assistant Coach: Peter Miskimmin
Assistant Coach: Mark Borgers
Manager: Umesh Parag

Southern Alpiners Men: Louis BeckertMalachi BuschlDavid Brydon (N)George ConnellNick ElderGeorge Enersen (N)Hugo Inglis (N)Moss Jackson, Sam Lane (N)Nick LidstoneJoseph MorrisonDominic NewmanNick Ross (N)Blair Tarrant (N)Dylan ThomasGus WakelingFinn WardJordan WardSimon Yorston, Kane Russell (N), Maxwell Rasmussen
Head Coach: Grant Edwards
Assistant Coach: Aaron Ford
Manager: Campbell Stewart

Premier Hockey League 2020 Women’s Squads

Northern Tridents Women: Olivia Crum, Stephanie Dickins (N), Katie Doar (N), Madison Doar, Izzy Gill, Erin Goad, Ella Gunson (N), Sophie Hildesley, Ella Hyatt Brown, Kate Ivory Tyler Lench, Clodagh McCullough, Stacey Michelsen (N), Kathryn Moffitt, Kirsten Pearce, Jess Pilmer, Samantha Polovnikoff, Kayla Reed, Brooke Roberts (N), Rose Tynan, Madeleine Williamson. 
Head Coach: Jude Menezes
Assistant Coach: Colin Stewart
Assistant Coach: Sandie Mackie
Manager: Kim Jordan

Hauraki Mavericks Women: Breana CatleyTarryn Davey (N)Maddie DoweAli HuntAlia Jaques (N)Rose Keddell (N)Julia King (N)Alex LukinAmelia MarlowAlice McIlroy-FosterSophie MorrisonGrace O’Hanlon (N)Kendra Peart-AndersonDeanna RitchieAmy Robinson (N)Tori RobinsonKim TannerLiz Thompson (N)Lulu TuilotolavaTayla WhiteLydia WoodsEva Zylstra.
Head Coach: Mark Borgers
Assistant Coach: Chris Arthur
Assistant Coach: Danielle Cranston
Manager: Jenny Duck

Central Falcons Women: Georgia Barnett (N), Kelly Carline , Kaitlin Cotter (N), Casey Crowley, Michalea Curtis, Rebecca Baker, Megan Hull (N), Jessica Kelly, Rileigh Knapp, Ruby Logan, Estelle Macadre, Holly Pearson (N), Felicity Reidy, Jenna-Rae McIntyre, Emma Rainey, Hope Ralph, Aniwaka Roberts, Olivia Shannon (N), Kelsey Smith (N), Kiriana Wairau-Hunter, Kayla Whitelock (N).
Head Coach: Darren Smith
Assistant Coach: Verity Sharland
Assistant Coach: Henry Wong
Manager: Dani Lett

Southern Alpiners Women: Isabella Ambrosius, Jessie Anderson, Leah Butt, Amelia Calder, Hayley Cox, Anna Crowley, Frances Davies (N), Tessa Jopp, Charlotte Lee, Georgie Mackay-Stewart, Saasha Marsters, Rachel McCann (N), Olivia Merry (N), Kirsty Nation, Arabella Sheild, Belinda Smith, Phoebe Steele, Catherine Tinning, Brittany Wang, Margot Willis, Emily Wium
Head Coach: Aaron Ford
Assistant Coach: Reiner Vellinga
Assistant Coach: Kate Trolove
Manager: Rachel Williams

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