Future Black Sticks Men’s head coach Bryce Collins has named a talented team ahead of a five test series against their Australian counterparts.
The Future Black Sticks side (Under 23s) includes players who had a strong Ford National Hockey League and is led by National Squad member Matt Rees-Gibbs (Midlands).
New Zealand will play an Australian U23 team five times from 21-27 November at the National Hockey Centre in Canberra.
It’s an important series in the lead up to next year’s Junior World Cup, and also provides a high quality development opportunity for the next tier of potential Black Sticks.
Collins said the series gives players exposure to top class international competition which will help build depth for the Black Sticks going forward.
The series also shows the strengthening connection between New Zealand and Australia, with more international competition at all age groups lifting the strength of Oceania hockey.
One additional player will be named later this week to replace Central’s Rob Creffier, who was to be named in the team but had been withdrawn due to a broken finger.
Benedict VAN WOERKOM
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