The FIH Pro League presented by Sentinel Homes returns to Aotearoa for the first time in three years when the Vantage Black Sticks Women take on the USA and China at the National Hockey Stadium in Wellington later this month.
Head coach Phil Burrows has selected a squad that features familiar faces from the relatively successful 2022 World Cup and Commonwealth Games campaigns, but the return of veteran defender Liz Thompson, after a year rehabilitating after a knee injury and who will play her 200th test in Wellington, bolsters a side that showed a lot of potential last year.
“I’m really excited about getting back on the turf with the girls and finally playing some hockey,” said Thompson.
“It was tough being sidelined last year but it was also great to see a lot of young players step up and I think we’re building something special which I can’t wait to be part of.”
The team also features 19 year old Hannah Cotter who made her senior debut against Spain last weekend. Cotter was coached by Burrows in the 2022 Hockey One league in Australia where she finished second in the goalscoring rankings.
Burrows said, “there’s a lot that Hannah can bring to the team, even at her young age.”
“She can obviously find the back of the net but she also fits in seamlessly to the great culture we are building within the team – everybody is excited to have her in the side.”
The Vantage Black Sticks women take on the USA on Feb 18 and 25 at 3pm – China on Feb 19 and 26 at 3pm. China and the USA also square off against each other on Feb 20 and 24 at 4pm.
All games are live on Spark Sport and tickets are on sale at blacksticksnz.co.nz/tickets
Squad: Hannah Cotter, Anna Crowley, Casey Crowley, Tarryn Davey, Frances Davies, Stephanie Dickins, Katie Doar, Aniwaka Haumaha, Megan Hull ©, Alia Jaques, Tessa Jopp, Tyler Lench, Alex Lukin, Olivia Merry ©, Grace O’Hanlon, Hope Ralph, Brooke Roberts, Olivia Shannon, Liz Thompson, Rose Tynan.