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Mens & Women's Hockey Teams Named To Olympic Squad

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
brad-shaw.jpg
brad-shaw.jpg

30 June 2008 - The New Zealand Olympic Committee has named the 32 men and women who will make up the New Zealand Olympic Hockey Teams to Beijing 2008.

BLACK STICKS MEN

The massive disappointment of missing Athens due to injury can now be erased for influential captain and midfielder, Ryan Archibald. He will lead a strong and very experienced Men's team to Beijing 2008 with half the squad having played more than 100 tests for the Black Sticks.

The Men have experience in all positions with defenders Blair Hopping and Dean Couzins on 183 and 155 tests respectively. Archibald will lead the midfield and now has an amazing 207 test caps, while on attack they have three players who have amassed more than 100 tests in Phil Burrows, David Kosoof and Gareth Brooks. This core group of players will be nicely complemented by rising stars such as Simon Child, Shea McAleese and Steven Edwards.

World Class drag flick exponent Hayden Shaw and his brother Brad Shaw who was the hero of the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in February have also cemented their spots. The average age of the side is 26.5, while the average tests per player is a whopping 113.

The men have the enormous task of facing Germany, Spain and Korea in Pool Play - all teams who competed at last weeks Champions Trophy for the world's top six teams. Their challenge now is to reach their peak in Beijing, something that will make them a genuine contender for a medal. They finished their recent tour of Europe with solid wins over Canada and Belgium - both teams that are competing in Beijing.

The 16 Black Sticks Men's players to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics are: Shirt #Player Name NHL Team Age Caps Position

3 David Kosoof North Harbour 29 136 Striker 7 Blair Hopping North Harbour 27 183 Defender 30 Ben Collier North Harbour 24 72 Midfielder 31 Steve Edwards North Harbour 22 47 Midfielder 10 Ryan Archibald Auckland 27 207 Midfielder 6 Simon Child Auckland 20 81 Striker 8 Dean Couzins Auckland 27 155 Defender 16 Paul Woolford Auckland 31 128 Goalkeeper 20 James Nation Auckland 31 90 Defender 24 Gareth Brooks Auckland 29 103 Striker 9 Casey Henwood Midlands 27 61 Midfielder 17 Kyle Pontifex Wellington 28 65 Goalkeeper 18 Phillip Burrows Wellington 28 198 Striker 25 Shea McAleese Central 23 70 Midfielder 12 Bradley Shaw Canterbury 25 73 Defender 19 Hayden Shaw Canterbury 27 139 Defender

Team Management Coach Shane McLeod Assistant Coach Greg Nicol Manager Kevin Marr Physiotherapist Gavin D'Souza Video Analyst Darren Smith

BLACK STICKS WOMEN

Black Sticks Women's coach Kevin Towns nominated an an exciting blend of experienced campaigners and emerging young talent to the New Zealand Olympic Committee. The bolter in the team is 18 year old striker Gemma Flynn who has quickly risen from national age group ranks to join experienced strikers Jaimee Claxton, Niniwa Roberts and Krystal Forgesson in a forward line that will threaten the best team's in the world.

The team has strength in the midfield where Emily Naylor, Kayla Sharland and 141 test veteran Caryn Paewai will feature, while influential captain Lizzy Igasan will lead a solid defensive outfit including Kate Saunders and Jo Galletly.

In goal Town's has opted for Beth Jurgeleit and Anita Wawatai - Wawatai, who has been battling injury for some time has come back in fine form and played exceptionally well in the recent four nations tournament in China.

The Black Sticks are drawn in pool play against world heavy weights Argentina and Japan, while challenges will also come from Germany, USA and Great Britain. Like the men, much will depend on the team's ability to produce their best in Beijing. They are showing signs of dramatic improvement in recent weeks and can now be confident of their chances. A highlight of their recent series in China were two 3-0 wins over Spain and a satisfying 1-1 draw with the highly fancied Chinese.

The 16 Black Sticks Women's players to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics are:

Shirt # Player Name NHL Team Age Caps Position

8 Jaimee Claxton North Harbour 30 138 Striker 10 Lizzy Igasan North Harbour 25 121 Defender 3 Krystal Forgesson Auckland 25 66 Striker 14 Kim Noakes Auckland 25 34 Defender 22 Gemma Flynn Midlands 18 16 Striker 1 Kayla Sharland Central 22 87 Midfielder 2 Emily Naylor Central 22 105 Midfielder 17 Caryn Paewai Central 32 141 Midfielder 23 Tara Drysdale Central 29 114 Midfielder 26 Anita Wawatai Central 27 41 Goalkeeper 15 Beth Jurgeleit Wellington 27 66 Goalkeeper 21 Niniwa Roberts Wellington 32 134 Striker 24 Sheree Horvath Wellington 28 34 Defender 4 Kate Saunders Canterbury 26 51 Defender 11 Stacey Carr Canterbury 24 92 Midfielder 13 Jo Galletly Canterbury 28 63 Defender

Team Management Coach Kevin Towns Assistant Coach Paul Derham Manager Debbie Balme Physiotherapist Mary Dunning Video Analyst Christopher Leslie

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