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Black Sticks begin their road to Tokyo Qualification

Published on Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Black Sticks begin their road to Tokyo Qualification

The Vantage Black Sticks Men are set to face world number 15 Japan in the TSB Community Trust four-match series in Stratford. The series will serve as the last chance for the New Zealand Men to work out their combinations as they tune-up ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Qualifiers which will be held in Stratford on the 2nd and 3rd November against Korea.   

 

The Vantage Black Sticks Men have taken on the Japan Samurai on 13 occasions since the 2016 Rio Olympics. During this period the New Zealand team have come away with 8 victories compared to the Japanese three, on three other occasions the teams have battled out for a draw. The last time these two sides crossed paths the New Zealand team squeezed out a narrow 4-3 victory thanks to a last-minute Stephen Jenness shot. 

 

The New Zealand Men have been down in Stratford since Monday and during this time they have been training and getting involved with the local community where on Wednesday afternoon 100s of locals came down to the TET Multi Sports Centre to have a hit around with both teams. 

 

Vantage Black Sticks Men’s Coach Darren Smith commented ahead of the first match “It’s fantastic to have Japan here in Stratford for 4 games in preparation for the Olympic Qualifiers next month. The series will give us a chance to settle into the environment, play on the turf and bring the squad back together. With five players returning from Europe we will look to settle them back into the group and get our rhythm both on and off the pitch. This will include tomorrow night where we will focus on starting the series well and quickly making sure our performance levels are high against a quick, skilled and aggressive opponent in Japan”

 

Smith has named a vastly experienced side for the first match which sees the return of Steve Edwards and Simon Child for the first time since 2016, Smith will be looking to the two returning Olympians to bring some firepower to the New Zealand Men as they look to hit the lead early against Japan

 

Match one which is proudly presented by the Asia New Zealand Foundation pushes back at 6:30 pm at the TET Multi Sports Centre in Stratford. 


The match will be live-streamed on the Hockey New Zealand Facebook and YouTube Channel

 

TSB Community Trust Vantage Black Sticks Men vs Japan Test Series – New Zealand Match One Squad

 

Number

Name

Age

Caps

2

Cory Bennett

28

96

4

Dane Lett

29

63

6

Simon Child

31

274

7

Nick Ross

29

117

11

Jacob Smith

28

74

12

Sam Lane

22

52

13

Marcus Child

28

161

14

Jared Panchia

25

122

15

George Enersen (GK)

28

58

17

Nic Woods

24

116

18

Brad Read

24

26

23

Dylan Thomas

23

15

24

Arun Panchia ©

30

280

25

Shea McAleese

35

298

27

Stephen Jenness

29

239

30

George Muir

25

132

31

Steve Edwards

33

207

34

Leon Hayward

29

13 (AUS)

 

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