Hockey: Eight debutants named for Black Sticks Men

By Hockey NZ

New Zealand celebrate after Shea McAlesse scores at the Rio Olympics. Photo / Getty Images
New Zealand celebrate after Shea McAlesse scores at the Rio Olympics. Photo / Getty Images

The Black Sticks Men will have eight players suiting up for their first ever test cap at the inaugural trans-Tasman series in November.

Head coach Colin Batch has named a team of 20 to compete during the series which will see the Black Sticks Men and Women go head to head with Australias Kookaburras and Hockeyroos from 17-20 November at the Lloyd Elsmore Hockey Stadium in Auckland.

Canterbury trio David Brydon, Sam Lane and Dominic Newman, Central pair Martin Atkinson and Rob Creffier, Capitals Harry Miskimmin and Brad Read along with Kim Kingstone (Auckland) are set to make their debut.

The youthful and talented side will be led by veterans Nick Haig and Stephen Jenness, who are the only two with more than 100 games experience.

Batch said it was an exciting time for the group in what serves as the first on field action for the next four year Olympic cycle leading up to Tokyo 2020.

"This is a very fresh team but every player selected deserves to be there from what they have shown us over the past 12 months," he said.

"Following on from Rio its the right time to explore and give some opportunities to younger players to see if they can step up to the challenge of reaching the level we believe they are capable of.

"For some of the guys, playing against the worlds best side Australia will also be the perfect preparation for the Junior World Cup later this year."

Canterburys David Brydon, who was recently named Most Valuable Player at the Ford National Hockey League, was excited about his first test for the Black Sticks.

The 20-year-old is a hard-nosed and athletic defender who will also be representing New Zealand at the Junior World Cup (Under 21s) in India this December.

"Im pretty excited about the chance to play my first game for the Black Sticks, its been a huge goal for me for a long time," he said.

"When Colin gave me the call to tell me I had been selected I was a bit speechless to be honest and to be making my debut along with Sam [Lane] and Dom [Newman] will be pretty special.

"It will be a baptism of fire for us debutants against the Aussies which we are all really looking forward to and for me its also perfect preparation for the Junior World Cup."

He will be the second David Brydon to represent New Zealand at the highest level with his uncle having played three tests in the 1990s.

There are a number of squad members who are refreshing after a tough Olympic campaign, playing club hockey in Europe or ruled out through injury.

- This story has been automatically published using a media release from Hockey NZ

- NZ Herald

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