The New Zealand men's hockey selectors have backed younger players to claim a third Commonwealth Games medal when the team plays at the Gold Coast event next month.

Midlands midfielder Aidan Sarikaya is the freshest face having played 10 internationals. He joins a group of five athletes aged 23 or younger.

Several players were unavailable for selection due to injuries, including defender Blair Tarrant (back) and forwards Simon Child (hip), Blair Hilton (knee) and Sam Lane (knee).

Shea McAleese is the most experienced in the team, with 258 caps, ahead of his fourth Games.


Midfielder Arun Panchia (243 caps) will captain the side.

Panchia and strikers Hugo Inglis and Stephen Jenness will head to their third straight Games.

"The majority of the team for Gold Coast played during this year's Four Nations series in Tauranga and Hamilton so it will be great so continue that progression as a unit," coach Darren Smith said.

"It's great to have Cory Bennett back after several months out with injury - he's been training strongly and will add a lot in the defensive line."

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

Eight of the 10 men's sides competing on the Gold Coast will also participate at this year's World Cup in December.

The hockey competition runs from April 5-14. The top two from each pool progress to the semi-finals and medal matches.

Men's pool A features New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa and Scotland. Pool B includes England, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Wales.

The Kiwis open their campaign against Canada on April 6.

New Zealand's two medal were a bronze at Delhi in 2010 and a silver at Manchester in 2002.

The squad: Cory Bennett, Marcus Child, Hugo Inglis, Stephen Jenness, Richard Joyce, Dane Lett, Devon Manchester, Shea McAleese, Harry Miskimmin, George Muir, Dominic Newman, Arun Panchia (captain), Jared Panchia, Hayden Phillips, Nick Ross, Kane Russell,
Aidan Sarikaya, Nic Woods.