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FIH PRO LEAGUE-HOCKEY AT ITS BEST

Black Sticks sides looking to see off the Great Britain challenge
  Media Information – During the FIH Hockey Pro League for all Media interviews with the Vantage Black Sticks Teams please contact through to Matthew Williams on 022 063 5705.

Media Availability Darren Smith is available for interviews on Thursday 6th Feb 1 – 3:30 pm Graham Shaw is available for interviews on Thursday 6th Feb 3:30 – 4 pm   Please see below the link for the Media Kit, Free Use Photos, Highlights and Accreditation for the Matches. Accreditation Media Kit Highlights Photos  
  Vantage Black Sticks Men vs Great Britain, Saturday February 8th at 5:10pm – National Hockey Centre, Albany
The Vantage Black Sticks Men had a tough first weekend of the 2020 FIH Hockey Pro League; the men came up against an inform world champion Belgium Men. Both matches were high scoring entertaining matches that will set the Kiwis up for a tough matchup against a Great Britain side who was riddled with inconsistencies the previous weekend against Australia.

Vantage Black Sticks Men’s coach Darren Smith has been able to draw on a mostly unchanged side as his team looks to build combinations ahead of the Tokyo Games.

Blair Tarrant, the New Zealand captain, looked in outstanding form in the opening weekend with some excellent defensive work. It was, however, on the attacking end that Tarrant looked to have the most impact as he always put pressure on the Belgian screen as he looked to put some great balls through to his outside halves.

Black Sticks Men’s Assistant Coach Glenn Turner commented ahead of the Great Britain Match “We need to get better every week, we don’t have too long until the Olympic Games now. We have been working on the lessons we learnt from the Belgian game and will be looking to bring that across into our match with Great Britain”.

Traditionally the New Zealand Men have had a tough time with the Great Britain side, the last time the Kiwis came out on the winning side of the ledger was at the 1972 Munich Olympics. The New Zealand side will be buoyed by their previous match against Belgium and will be confident of getting a result against the strong Great Britain Men.   George Enersen, Richard Joyce, Shea McAleese, Blair Tarrant ©, Cory Bennett, Kane Russell, Dane Lett, Dwayne Rowsell, Nic Woods, Arun Panchia, Nick Ross, Steve Edwards, Marcus Child, Jared Panchia, Aidan Sarikaya, Simon Child, Dylan Thomas, Stephen Jenness, Sam Lane, Jacob Smith *Two to be omitted    Vantage Black Sticks Women vs Belgium, Saturday February 8th at 7:40pm – National Hockey Centre, Albany
The second match of the day from the National Hockey Centre will see the reigning Olympic Champions Great Britain up against their familiar counterparts the Vantage Black Sticks Women.

After being stunned in their opening match by the Belgian Women, the Vantage Black Sticks put together a more comprehensive performance in their second match. Olivia Merry once again leads the FIH Hockey Pro League in goals scored and will be looking to continue to finish off the excellent passes into the circle that her teammates have been providing her.

When these two sides met in New Zealand last year, a motivated Black Sticks went berzerk on the attacking end of the field and managed to put away five goals behind a hattrick from Olivia Merry.

The Great Britain side has benefitted recently from the return of their star goalkeeper Maddie Hinch, a veteran of 147 games and an integral part of the 2016 Great Britain Gold Medal run. The Kiwi side will need to have some crafty touches in the circle to get past Hinch who is a master at straight shot saves.

Gemma McCaw is set to bring up her 250th cap for the Black Sticks Women in the second match of the weekend. McCaw made a triumphant return to the turf scoring in her first game back after a three-year break. Look for McCaw and Merry to continue their combination in the strike line as they look to put pressure on the Great Britain defence.

Black Sticks Women’s Coach Graham Shaw stated “We need to make sure that we are more patient on our attack when we enter the attacking 25. We left a few goals out on the turf last weekend against Belgium and will be looking to make the most of our opportunities against a tough Great Britain”.


  Georgia Barnett, Brooke Roberts, Megan Hull, Fran Davies, Julia King, Brooke Neal, Tayla White, Ella Gunson, Tarryn Davey, Sam Charlton, Stacey Michelsen ©, Holly Pearson, Katie Doar, Gemma McCaw, Olivia Shannon, Olivia Merry, Rachel McCann, Amy Robinson, Hope Ralph. *One to be omitted.      
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