Hager names seasoned Black Sticks squad

Author
NZ Newswire,
Section
Other Sport,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 11 January 2017, 3:29PM
Olivia Merry has been named in the new Black Sticks squad
Olivia Merry has been named in the new Black Sticks squad

Black Sticks women's hockey coach Mark Hager has included plenty of experience in his first squad of a new Olympic cycle.

Several seasoned internationals, including Anita McLaren, Gemma Flynn, Charlotte Harrison, Petrea Webster and Sophie Cocks have opted to take a break from international hockey.

But Hager still has plenty of experience to call all - nine players in the squad have played over 100 Tests, with versatile defender Stacey Michelsen the most capped at 216.

Hager has named an initial squad of 21 players, with five more to be added following next month's test series in Argentina.

He has included 20-year-old defender Frances Davies after solid performances at the Junior World Cup and against Malaysia in Stratford late last year.

Goalkeeper Grace O'Hanlon is also a new face to the Black Sticks, the 24-year- old previously living and playing her hockey in Australia.

Hager said it's an exciting phase for the squad as the focus shifts towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"After an Olympic campaign you always see changes for different reasons and I'm excited about the group we have going forward," he said.

Black Sticks: Georgia Barnett, Sam Charlton, Frances Davies, Natasha Fitzsimons, Amelia Gibson, Shiloh Gloyn, Erin Goad, Jordan Grant, Ella Gunson, Sam Harrison, Pippa Hayward, Rose Keddell, Rachel McCann, Olivia Merry, Stacey Michelsen, Brooke Neal, Grace O'Hanlon, Kirsten Pearce, Sally Rutherford, Kelsey Smith, Liz Thompson.

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