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 month's 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 December's test series against Malaysia in Stratford, 20-year-old Midlands defender Frances Davies has earned a call up.


Goalkeeper Grace O'Hanlon 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 it's 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 I'm excited about the group we have going forward," he said.

"It's pleasing to see some great young athletes coming through and pushing for places, and that's 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 Women's World League Final here at home in November."

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