20 Dec 2012

Impasse remains over Black Sticks' participation in HIL

11:17 am on 20 December 2012

Negotiations are ongoing between Hockey New Zealand and the Hockey Players Association over a new deal that will allow the Black Sticks men's stars to compete in the lucrative Hockey India League tournament next month.

The end of the tournament clashes with a compulsory Black Sticks training camp.

The striker Nick Wilson is hoping a compromise can be reached, or it'll defeat the purpose of the India League for players like him and the other Black Stick involved, Simon Child.

Wilson says they'd have their pay deducted as well as missing the business end of the tournament, which is the most enjoyable and the part the franchises want them for the most.

He says on the other end of the scale he really loves playing for New Zealand and that's what leagues like the HIL are there for, so players can become fully professional and can fully commit to their national programmes.

And Wilson says their performances should improve by working alongside the likes of his Ranchi Rhinos team-mate Moritz Fürste, a two-time Olympic gold medallist for Germany.

Ranchi is in India's northeast and other top players in the squad include English midfielder Ashley Jackson, as well as several from India's national side.

Wilson was the highest scorer at the recent elite Champions Trophy tournament in Melbourne and is one of about a third of the current national men's hockey side to make a living as a professional player in Holland.