12 Oct 2016

Eight new faces in Black Sticks mens squad

3:50 pm on 12 October 2016

The New Zealand men's hockey coach Colin Batch has included eight potential debutants in a new look squad for the trans-Tasman series against Australia next month.

New Zealand men's hockey coach Colin Batch.

New Zealand men's hockey coach Colin Batch. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Batch has named a team of 20 to compete during the series where the Black Sticks Men and Women will go head to head with Australia's Kookaburras and Hockeyroos from November 17 to 20 in Auckland.

Canterbury trio David Brydon, Sam Lane and Dominic Newman, Central pair Martin Atkinson and Rob Creffier, Capital's Harry Miskimmin and Brad Read along with Kim Kingstone (Auckland) are set to make their debut.

The youthful and talented side will be led by veterans Nick Haig and Stephen Jenness, who are the only two with more than 100 games experience.

Batch said it was an exciting time for the group in what serves as the first on field action for the next four year Olympic cycle leading up to Tokyo 2020.

"This is a very fresh team but every player selected deserves to be there from what they have shown us over the past 12 months," he said.

"Following on from Rio it's the right time to explore and give some opportunities to younger players to see if they can step up to the challenge of reaching the level we believe they are capable of.

"For some of the guys, playing against the world's best side Australia will also be the perfect preparation for the Junior World Cup later this year."

Canterbury's David Brydon, who was recently named Most Valuable Player at the Ford National Hockey League, was excited about his first test for the Black Sticks.

The 20-year-old is a hard-nosed and athletic defender who will also be representing New Zealand at the Junior World Cup (Under 21s) in India this December.

"I'm pretty excited about the chance to play my first game for the Black Sticks, it's been a huge goal for me for a long time," he said.

"When Colin gave me the call to tell me I had been selected I was a bit speechless to be honest and to be making my debut along with Sam [Lane] and Dom [Newman] will be pretty special.

"It will be a baptism of fire for us debutants against the Aussies which we are all really looking forward to and for me it's also perfect preparation for the Junior World Cup."

He will be the second David Brydon to represent New Zealand at the highest level with his uncle having played three tests in the 1990s.

There are a number of squad members who are refreshing after a tough Olympic campaign, playing club hockey in Europe or ruled out through injury.

BLACK STICKS MEN

Trans-Tasman Series, Auckland

PLAYER NAME REGION POSITION AGE CAPS

Martin ATKINSON Central Striker 23 -

Cory BENNETT North Harbour Defender 25 37

David BRYDON Canterbury Defender 20 -

James COUGHLAN North Harbour Midfielder 26 69

Robert CREFFIER Central Midfielder 24 -

Nick HAIG Canterbury Defender 29 193

Stephen JENNESS Capital Striker 26 164

Richard JOYCE North Harbour Goalkeeper 24 4

Kim KINGSTONE Auckland Striker 22 -

Sam LANE Canterbury Striker 19 -

Devon MANCHESTER Auckland Goalkeeper 26 94

Harry MISKIMMIN Capital Defender 21 -

Leo MITAI-WELLS Midlands Striker 21 4

Dominic NEWMAN Canterbury Striker 19 -

Hayden PHILLIPS Central Midfielder 18 23

Brad READ Capital Defender 21 -

Matt REES-GIBBS Midlands Midfielder 24 3

Nick ROSS Midlands Midfielder 26 34

Alex SHAW Capital Defender 26 73

Jacob SMITH Capital Striker 25 55

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