Black Sticks look to keep rolling in Melbourne

By Hockey NZ

The Black Sticks Men are looking to continue their momentum at the International Festival of Hockey in Melbourne later this week.

Fresh from Sunday nights 2-1 win over the Kookaburras at the Ford Trans-Tasman Trophy, head coach Colin Batch has named a team of 18 who travel to Melbourne this evening.

The four nations event sees the return of four senior Black Sticks who competed at the Rio Olympic Games in Shea McAleese, Hugo Inglis, Arun Panchia and Kane Russell. Striker Jared Panchia also slots into the side.

McAleese, who has been playing club hockey in Europe, will captain the Black Sticks during the series which runs from 23-27 November at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne.

The International Festival of Hockey sees the Black Sticks go up against hosts Australia, India and Malaysia in one-off tests ahead of finals day on Sunday.

Coach Batch said the Ford Trans-Tasman Trophy was a great stepping stone for the Black Sticks Men with Melbourne another opportunity to continue progressing.

"Playing consistently has been a big focus for us, and we havent always been able to do that but we did that pretty well at Trans-Tasman," he said.

"We go to Melbourne determined to put together good performances in four games and certainly we are out there to win.

"It will be great to welcome back five players, four who have been playing in Europe, so they will be in good match form and we look forward to what they will add to the group."

The Black Sticks play their first game in Melbourne against Malaysia on Wednesday at 6:00pm (NZ time), with live coverage on SKY Sport.

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

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