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3 Jun 2016

New Zealand Men’s team confirmed for Rio

Author: Hockey NZ  /  Categories: Hockey New Zealand News  / 

The New Zealand Men’s hockey team will take plenty of experience as well as some youthful talent into the Rio Olympic Games in August.

The team of 16 players named by the New Zealand Olympic Committee today includes four players who will be playing at their third Olympic Games and a further four at their second campaign.

Captain Simon Child (260 test caps), Ryan Archibald (313), Shea McAleese (225) and Bradley Shaw (179) will suit up for the third time while Hugo Inglis (176), Nick Wilson (156), Blair Hilton (153) and Stephen Jenness (150) all played at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

An exciting addition to the team is 18-year-old Central Mavericks midfielder Hayden Phillips who has earned selection having only made his debut against Korea in Auckland earlier this year.

Phillips, from Levin, is an impressive young talent with slick elimination skills and will be looking to cause trouble for anyone marking him in Rio.

Midlands 20-year-old Nic Woods (47 tests) also lines up as a defender, having developed into one of the country’s most lethal exponents of the drag flick as well as offering athleticism and quick hands on the ball.

Goalkeeper Devon Manchester will be under the bar in Rio and looking to use his speed, agility and awareness to keep the ball out of New Zealand’s goal.

Head coach Colin Batch said the naming of the team now allows the group time to work together and focus solely on hitting the turf in Rio.

“We have named our team early which gives us extra time to prepare and train together as a unit. I believe we are in a good position to accelerate our development, both individually and also as a team,” Batch said.

“Our team is well balanced with eight new Olympians and eight having experienced Olympic competition before, although Rio does offer many more challenges than what athletes experienced at London 2012.

“It is not just about coping with the environment, but all teams face tough competition in both men’s pools. Hockey has developed into a global sport and the depth and consistency of the competition means there is no easy path to securing a quarter finals spot. However, I’m confident that we can perform well and be a strong contender at the business end of the tournament.”

New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith noted the opportunity that lies in front of both the men's and women's hockey team in Rio and wished them well in the final stages of preparation for the Games.

"Rio is set to come alive in August as a vibrant and exciting city and with the newly renovated Olympic Hockey Centre forming a key part of the Deodoro cluster of venues, we're looking forward to cheering on the team at this world-class facility.

"With the men's hockey team named today, the players are one of the first team-sports to be formally welcomed into the New Zealand Olympic team and the players can now knuckle down over the next two months in the lead up to the Games.

"One thing we can be sure of is that the competition well and truly shifts up a gear at the Olympic Games, I know the team will be looking forward to laying it all on the line in Rio and New Zealanders in turn are looking forward to tuning into the hockey teams' progress at the Games."

The New Zealand Men are in action on the opening day of competition against trans-Tasman rivals Australia at 4:30am on Sunday 7th August (NZ time) before the Women open their campaign against Korea at 1:00am the following Monday morning.

Two pitches will host both events and for the first time in an Olympic hockey competition, quarter-finals will be played with the top four teams from each pool qualifying for the knock-out stages.

The winners of the quarter-finals will qualify for the semi-finals which will determine who will play in the gold and bronze medal matches, which are scheduled for Friday 19th August.

The New Zealand Women’s team will be named in early July following the conclusion of the Champions Trophy in London.

New Zealand hockey teams have won several Commonwealth Games medals dating back to Kuala Lumpur 1998 right through to Glasgow 2014. The Olympic hockey highlight for New Zealand came at the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976 when the men's hockey team triumphed over Australia to claim the gold medal.

NEW ZEALAND MEN’S OLYMPIC TEAM


SHIRT #

PLAYER NAME

REGION

POSITION

AGE

CAPS

10

Ryan ARCHIBALD

Auckland

Midfielder

35

313

6

Simon CHILD

Auckland

Striker

28

260

1

James COUGHLAN

North Harbour

Midfielder

25

55

9

Blair HILTON

Capital

Striker

26

153

29

Hugo INGLIS

Southern

Striker

25

176

27

Stephen JENNESS

Capital

Striker

25

150

20

Devon MANCHESTER

Auckland

Goalkeeper

26

81

25

Shea McALEESE

Central

Defender

31

225

23

Shay NEAL

Northland

Striker

25

73

24

Arun PANCHIA

Auckland

Midfielder

26

187

31

Hayden PHILLIPS

Central

Midfielder

18

11

21

Kane RUSSELL

Southern

Defender

23

73

12

Bradley SHAW

Canterbury

Defender

33

179

22

Blair TARRANT

Southern

Defender

26

148

32

Nick WILSON

Central

Striker

25

156

17

Nic WOODS

Midlands

Defender

20

47


New Zealand Olympic and Hockey History

Mid-late 1800s: Game developed by cricket players from Middlesex club in England, looking for a winter sport other than football, using sticks and cricket balls.

Late 1880s: Introduction of the game around the Commonwealth, primarily via the British army. First clubs in India established in 1885 in Calcutta.

1886: Amateur Hockey Association formed in London.

1908: Hockey introduced to Olympic Games in London, with only three men's teams – England, Ireland and Scotland.

1928: Men's hockey returned to the Olympic Games in Amsterdam and then became a permanent fixture on the Olympic programme.

1980: Women's hockey debuted at the Moscow Olympics.  

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