Hockey: Black Sticks squad named for Glasgow

Kayla Whitelock and team mates wear the new formal wear after the women's team announcement today. Photo / Greg Bowker
Kayla Whitelock and team mates wear the new formal wear after the women's team announcement today. Photo / Greg Bowker

Momentum gained at the Hockey World Cup is expected to build for the New Zealand Commonwealth Games women's hockey team named today ahead of Glasgow 2014, underway next month.

Coach Mark Hager said the team is confident they have what it takes to bring home a medal from Glasgow.

"All the teams will turn up well prepared to the Commonwealth Games and we won't be taking any game lightly, but if we can build on our performance from the World Cup and perform to our best we hope to be standing on the podium," said Hager.

Senior players Kayla Whitelock, Emily Naylor, Krystal Forgesson, Gemma Flynn and Anita Punt have all played over 150 games pulling the team test cap average up to 108, but despite the teams international experience only seven players have competed at a Commonwealth Games before.

"One of the pleasing things is that even though there are a lot of new players in the team since London Olympics, we have higher expectations of ourselves than we did say four or five years ago and I think it highlights that the group has come a long way."

New Zealand is ranked second in the competition below Australia, following their rise in rankings to fourth following the FIH World Cup.

"There is an expectation based on our ranking that we will medal and we believe it is healthy to have that pressure - I think it will help us perform," said Hager.

The team also became the first to model the new Glasgow 2014 official team uniform.

The uniform is traditional black and incorporates elements representing New Zealand's special character and place in the world, including a stylized Southern Cross, tui and the letters NZ. It also sends a nod of respect to the host nation, Scotland, with reflections of the St Andrew's Cross also incorporated in the design.

The Kiwis will face Trinidad and Tobago, India, South Africa and Canada in pool play. The top two teams from each pool then progress to semi-finals ahead of the final game on Sunday 3rd August (NZ time).

The New Zealand Commonwealth Games team now will be complete following the namings of the men's hockey and rugby sevens teams in early July.

The team is expected to number 235 athletes.

Black Sticks squad:
Sam Charlton
Sophie Cocks
Rhiannon Dennison
Gemma Flynn
Krystal Forgesson
Katie Glynn
Jordan Grant
Rose Keddell
Olivia Merry
Stacey Michelsen
Emily Naylor
Anita Punt
Sally Rutherford
Liz Thompson
Petrea Webster
Kayla Whitelock

- NZ Herald

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