Black Sticks Men named for World League Semi Final

Auckland, June 8, 2017

Vantage Black Sticks Men’s head coach Darren Smith has named his side to compete at the FIH World League Semi Final in South Africa next month.
The Kiwis are set to take on some of the world’s best hockey teams at the tournament, which runs from 9-23 July in Johannesburg.
The side is steeled by the return of several key players following a season of club hockey in Europe with Shea McAleese, Blair Tarrant, Hugo Inglis, Nic Woods, Jacob Smith, Marcus Child and Jared Panchia all back in black for the first time this year.

First Taste of international
The tournament also marks the first taste of international hockey since the Rio Olympic Games for talented 19-year-old Hayden Phillips who has now fully recovered from an ankle injury.
Experienced defender Nick Haig also comes back into the fray after suffering a broken foot during the home test series against Pakistan earlier this year.
Several players were not considered through injury or unavailability including Simon Child, James Coughlan, Blair Hilton and Brad Read.

Tough selections
Coach Smith said the final selections were extremely tough with the competition for spots high among the squad.
“There were some tough calls and some extremely good players missed out, but that’s a great problem to have as it shows there is some depth within the squad,” he said.
“We are looking forward to the challenge of the World League Semi Final, it will be a high pressure environment and we know that we will need to be at our peak to get the results needed.”
The Black Sticks are joined in Pool A by reigning world champions Australia, Spain, Japan and France.
Pool B sees Rio 2016 silver medalists Belgium take on Rio bronze medalists Germany, reigning African champions South Africa, Ireland and Egypt.
The Process

Ten teams will take part in two Semi Final tournaments, with the other Men’s event being held in London. Results across both Semi Finals will determine contenders for the 2017 Hockey World League Final, while the top 10 finishers gain qualification for the 2018 Hockey World Cup. Both events will be hosted in Bhubaneswar, India.
Teams will also be awarded FIH World Ranking points from the World League Semi Final, which could prove crucial in relation to qualification for future events.
New Zealand’s opening game at the tournament is against France at 10pm on Sunday 9th July (NZ time). All Vantage Black Sticks games will be broadcast live on SKY Sport.

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Photo Courtesy: PMF Image

Vantage Black Sticks Men
FIH World League Semi Final – Johannesburg, 8-23 July

Shirt # Player Name Region Position Age Caps
3 David BRYDON Canterbury Defender 20 19
13 Marcus CHILD Auckland Midfielder 25 94
4 Nick HAIG Canterbury Defender 29 201
29 Hugo INGLIS Southern Striker 25 186
27 Stephen JENNESS Capital Striker 26 184
8 Richard JOYCE North Harbour Goalkeeper 24 21
12 Sam LANE Canterbury Striker 20 16
20 Devon MANCHESTER Auckland Goalkeeper 27 106
25 Shea McALEESE Central Defender 32 243
30 George MUIR North Harbour Midfielder 22 65
24 Arun PANCHIA Auckland Defender 27 218
14 Jared PANCHIA Auckland Striker 23 55
31 Hayden PHILLIPS Central Midfielder 19 23
7 Nick ROSS Southern Midfielder 26 54
21 Kane RUSSELL Southern Defender 24 97
11 Jacob SMITH Capital Striker 25 62
22 Blair TARRANT Southern Defender 26 162
17 Nic WOODS Midlands Defender 21 60

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