The Black Sticks Women have ushered in some fresh faces to the 2017 National Squad as the group progresses into the new Olympic cycle.

Head coach Mark Hager has named an initial squad of 21 players with five more to be added following next months test series in Argentina.

The squad is grounded by a core of experienced and talented athletes with nine having played over 100 tests while versatile defender Stacey Michelsen is the most capped (216).

Thanks to her recent performances at the FIH Junior World Cup and Decembers test series against Malaysia in Stratford, 20-year-old Midlands defender Frances Davies has earned a call up.

Goalkeeper Grace OHanlon is also new face to the Black Sticks with the 24-year-old previously living and playing her hockey in Australia.

Several experienced players including Anita McLaren, Gemma Flynn, Charlotte Harrison, Petrea Webster and Sophie Cocks have opted to take a break from international hockey and were not available for selection.

Hager said its an exciting phase for the squad as they hunt for more success this year with the focus shifting towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

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

"Its pleasing to see some great young athletes coming through and pushing for places, and thats why players like Frances Davies and Erin Goad have been rewarded.

"We have a lot to look forward to this year with the end goal making sure we give our absolute best performance at the FIH Womens World League Final here at home in November."

The Black Sticks Womens team to travel to Argentina for a six-test series in late February will be announced on Thursday, while the Black Sticks Mens National Squad will be named on Friday.

2017 BLACK STICKS WOMENS NATIONAL SQUAD

SHIRT # / PLAYER NAME / REGION / POSITION / AGE / CAPS

21 / Georgia BARNETT / Central / Goalkeeper / 22 / 22

13 / Sam CHARLTON / Midlands / Defender / 25 / 153

5 / Frances DAVIES / Midlands / Defender / 20 / 5

20 / Natasha FITZSIMONS / Midlands / Defender / 28 / 59

10 / Amelia GIBSON / Auckland / Goalkeeper / 25 / 60

28 / Shiloh GLOYN / Midlands / Midfielder / 27 / 29

3 / Erin GOAD / North Harbour / Defender / 23 / 10

27 / Jordan GRANT / Canterbury / Midfielder / 25 / 63

12 / Ella GUNSON / Northland / Defender / 27 / 149

2 / Sam HARRISON / Auckland / Striker / 25 / 100

26 / Pippa HAYWARD / Canterbury / Defender / 26 / 120

24 / Rose KEDDELL / Midlands / Defender / 22 / 139

11 / Rachel McCANN / Canterbury / Midfielder / 23 / 36

4 / Olivia MERRY / Canterbury / Striker / 24 / 143

31 / Stacey MICHELSEN / Northland / Defender / 25 / 216

9 / Brooke NEAL / Northland / Defender / 24 / 96

15 / Grace OHANLON / TBC / Goalkeeper / 24 / -

18 / Kirsten PEARCE / North Harbour / Striker / 25 / 68

8 / Sally RUTHERFORD / Midlands / Goalkeeper / 35 / 129

25 / Kelsey SMITH / Capital / Striker / 22 / 31

16 / Liz THOMPSON / Auckland / Defender / 22 / 125

2017 BLACK STICKS WOMENS DEVELOPMENT SQUAD

PLAYER NAME / REGION / POSITION

Michaela CURTIS / Central / Striker

Tarryn DAVEY / Midlands / Defender/Midfielder

Stephanie DICKINS / North Harbour / Defender

Maddie DOWE / Auckland / Defender/Midfielder

Kat HENRY / North Harbour / Defender

Alia JACQUES / Midlands / Midfielder

Tessa JOPP / Southern / Midfielder

Felicity REIDY / Capital / Midfielder/Striker

Deanna RITCHIE / Auckland / Striker

Amy ROBINSON / Midlands / Striker

Jenny STOREY / Canterbury / Defender

Phoebe STEELE / Canterbury / Midfielder/Striker

Brooke ROBERTS / North Harbour / Goalkeeper

Kim TANNER / Midlands / Defender

Cat TINNING / Canterbury / Striker



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