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|Reinforcements for the European leg of the FIH Pro League for the Black Sticks Men
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Vantage Black Sticks Men’s Coach Darren Smith has named an incredibly strong side for the European leg of the FIH Pro League. The squad sees the return of dynamite strikers Hugo Inglis and Stephen Jenness who will provide some fire power for the Black Sticks Men up front.
Veteran midfielder Marcus Child has been named in the squad and is set to play his 150thmatch for the Vantage Black Sticks next time he takes the pitch.
The Vantage Black Sticks will take on the Netherlands on June 5thin their first match of their European leg before playing matches against Germany, Spain, Belgium and Great Britain.
The European leg is going to be a great opportunity for the side to work on their combinations as they begin their journey to the Oceania Cup in Rockhampton. This will be the first opportunity for the Black Sticks Men to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Vantage Black Sticks Men’s Coach Darren Smith commented on the upcoming FIH Pro League Matches “We have been able to select a team from most of the players in the current National Squad. This is with the exception of Blair Tarrant who will undergo back surgery next week and Brad Read who continues to recover from hip surgery. We are also seeing Simon Child return to club hockey and remain hopeful that over the year he will return to the Vantage Black Sticks”
“This will be a demanding and exciting tour with travel combined with high quality opposition to challenge us. We will start with Holland before traveling to Germany, Spain, Belgium and finishing with Great Britain in London over a five week duration. Although performing well and getting some results will always be a focus of the Pro League we are also looking toward the second half of the year to get ready to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games”
“For this tour we welcome back Jacob Smith who has been in good form for Pinoke in Europe. Jacob will bring physicality and goal scoring threat up front. It will be great to see him back in the team”
Vantage Black Sticks Men European Squad Name Position Caps Richard Joyce Goalkeeper 67 George Enersen Goalkeeper 50 Shea McAleese Defender 286 Cory Bennett Defender 84 Dane Lett Defender 51 Kane Russell Defender 138 Nic Woods Midfielder 104 Arun Panchia © Defender 268 Nick Ross Midfielder 105 Marcus Child Midfielder 149 Aidan Sarikaya Midfielder 35 Hugo Inglis Striker 219 Hayden Phillips Midfielder 78 Jared Panchia Striker 112 Jacob Smith Striker 62 Dom Newman Striker 53 Stephen Jenness Striker 227 Sam Lane Striker 40 Geroge Muir Striker 121