The Black Sticks will carry a heavy Northland presence at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next month.

Five Northlanders have been named in the 18-strong squad led by local player Stacey Michelsen.

The 2017 World Player of the Year nominee carries a wealth of experience, having played 248 matches for the national side.

She will be joined by strikers Madison Doar and Sam Harrison as well as defenders Ella Gunson and Brooke Neal.


Doar, 18, is the youngest player selected after an impressive last 12 months where she made her debut and was a strong performer in the FIH World Hockey League Finals played in Auckland.

Gunson and Neal form an experienced defensive core with Michelsen, with the trio combining for more than 560 caps wearing the silver fern.

Michelsen is the only Northlander who was part of the bronze-medal winning side at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Head coach Mark Hager said confidence is high within the group that they have what it takes to bring home a medal.

"We know all teams will arrive well prepared at the Commonwealth Games and we certainly aren't taking anything for granted, but our expectations on ourselves are very high," Hager said.

"We've put our faith in the majority of players who played and finished second at the World League Final in December, and are confident we have the necessary talent in this side.

"Given our performances over recent years there will rightly be an expectation on us to win a medal and I think it's healthy to have that pressure, but also knowing we have great support from everyone cheering us on at Gold Coast and back home."

Sanctioned by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), the 10 competing nations for both men's and women's competitions are divided into two pools of five based on their FIH World Rankings.


The hockey competition runs from April 5-14 with each side playing all other pool opponents before the top two from each pool progress to the semifinals and medal matches.

The Kiwis open their Commonwealth Games campaign against Scotland at 1.30pm (NZ time) on April 5.

The New Zealand Women have won three medals at past Commonwealth Games including bronze at Kuala Lumpur 1998, silver at Delhi 2010 and bronze at Glasgow 2014.

Black Sticks squad: Stacey Michelsen (capt), Sam Charlton, Tarryn Davey, Frances Davies, Madison Doar, Shiloh Gloyn, Ella Gunson, Sam Harrison, Pippa Hayward, Tessa Jopp, Rose Keddell, Anita McLaren, Olivia Merry, Brooke Neal, Grace O'Hanlon, Sally Rutherford, Kelsey Smith, Liz Thompson