Vantage Black Sticks Women named for World Cup campaign
Vantage Black Sticks Women’s head coach Mark Hager has named his side to compete at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London next month.
The New Zealand team includes just one change from the group who won a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.
Auckland midfielder Lulu Tuilotolava will suit up for her first major tournament after making her debut during the Pioneer Energy Women’s Tri Nations in Cromwell.
It’s an experienced side led by captain Stacey Michelsen (254 tests), while Anita McLaren (264) and Sam Charlton (219) have also played more than 200 matches.
Hager said it’s a strong team with plenty of players who have proven they can match up against the best in the world.
“It’s a very versatile team and we believe there’s a good mix of youth and experience within the group with talent across various positions,” he said.
“We think we’ve got the right balance – all 18 players in the side deserve their spot and I know they are very excited.
“After winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games we probably go in with a bigger target on our backs but hopefully that fuels us to lift even further as a group.”
The Women’s Hockey World Cup is the biggest prize and most cherished victory in hockey alongside the Olympics.
Every four years, the Hockey World Cup sees the world’s greatest teams play some of the toughest, most skilful and entertaining international hockey imaginable.
In 2018, the tournament has been extended to 16 teams with teams playing three group stage matches before the elimination phase.
All games will be played at England’s 10,000-seater Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
The Vantage Black Sticks Women open their campaign against Belgium (world ranking 13th) on Monday 23 July at 6:00am (NZ time).
The Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup takes place later this year in Bhubaneswar, India from 28 November – 16 December, featuring the Vantage Black Sticks Men.
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS WOMEN’S WORLD CUP TEAM
21 July – August 5, 2018 – London
SHIRT # PLAYER NAME REGION POSITION AGE CAPS
13 Sam CHARLTON Midlands Midfielder 26 219
1 Tarryn DAVEY Midlands Defender/Mid 22 31
5 Frances DAVIES Midlands Defender 21 50
29 Madison DOAR Northland Striker 18 23
28 Shiloh GLOYN Midlands Striker 28 68
12 Ella GUNSON Northland Defender 28 191
2 Sam HARRISON Auckland Striker 26 149
24 Rose KEDDELL Midlands Defender 24 176
32 Anita McLAREN Capital Midfielder 30 264
4 Olivia MERRY Canterbury Striker 26 198
31 Stacey MICHELSEN (c) Northland Midfielder 27 254
9 Brooke NEAL Northland Defender 25 147
15 Grace O’HANLON Auckland Goalkeeper 25 34
6 Amy ROBINSON Midlands Mid/Striker 22 49
8 Sally RUTHERFORD Midlands Goalkeeper 36 164
25 Kelsey SMITH Capital Striker 23 79
16 Liz THOMPSON Auckland Defender 23 166
30 Lulu TUILOTOLAVA Auckland Mid/Defender 21 6
POOLS & SCHEDULE
In Pool A, the world number one side and current holders of the World Cup, Netherlands, await the challenge of Asian giants China and Korea as well as rising European stars Italy.
Pool B is headed by the host nation and world number two team England. They will face tough challenges from USA, who won the 2017 Hockey World League Semi-Final in Johannesburg, recently crowned Asian champions India, and Ireland.
Argentina are ranked number three in the world, and they have European rivals Germany and Spain to contend with, along with African continental champions South Africa in Pool C.
Pool D sees Oceania rivals the Vantage Black sticks and Australia go head to head along with Japan and 2017 Rabobank EuroHockey Championship runners-up Belgium.
VANTAGE BLACK STICKS WOMEN’S WORLD CUP SCHEDULE (in NZ time)
Monday 23rd July – 6:00am Vantage Black Sticks Women vs Belgium
Tuesday 24th July – 11:00pm Vantage Black Sticks Women vs Japan
Sunday 29th July – 7:00am Vantage Black Sticks Women vs Australia
Monday 30th & Tuesday 31st July Post Pool Play Cross-Overs
Wednesday 1st & Thursday 2nd August Quarter Finals
Saturday 4th August Semi Finals
Sunday 5th August Medal Matches