24 Jul 2012


1:15 pm on 24 July 2012

Men's field hockey was introduced to the Olympic Games in London in 1908, with the 1924 Paris Games the only Olympics since not to include it in the programme. Women's hockey was introduced to the programme in Moscow in 1980.

New Zealand has only won one hockey medal at the Olympics, when the men's team won gold at the 1976 Games in Montreal.

The men's 2012 side, however, is a strong contender for a medal this year in London.

The team is New Zealand's most experienced men's hockey side in history, with Dean Couzins, Phil Burrows, Blair Hopping and Kyle Pontifex attending their third Olympics, and a further nine players competing in their second Games.

The Black Sticks men won the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia in June this year.

In late 2011, they were only narrowly beaten by the Netherlands in the Champions Trophy bronze medal match in Auckland.

The women's side, also known as the Black Sticks, also has a chance at a medal. They are currently ranked sixth in the world, but competition will be tough.

The team has some experience, with captain Kayla Sharland and Emily Naylor at their third Olympics, while Krystal Forgesson and Gemma Flynn will compete at their second Games.


Men's: Dean Couzins (captain, defender), Kyle Pontifex (goalkeeper), Andy Hayward, Blair Hopping, Richard Petherick, Brad Shaw (defenders), Nick Haig, Shea McAleese (defenders/midfielders), Ryan Archibald, Steven Edwards (midfielders), Phil Burrows, Blair Hilton (midfielders/strikers), Simon Child, Stephen Jenness, Hugo Inglis, Nick Wilson (strikers).

Coach: Shane McLeod.

Women's: Kayla Sharland (captain, midfielder), Bianca Russell (goalkeeper), Clarissa Eshuis, Alana Millington (defenders), Sam Charlton, Stacey Michelsen, Emily Naylor (defenders/midfielders), Melody Cooper, Ella Gunson, Sam Harrison, Anita Punt (midfielders), Gemma Flynn, Krystal Forgesson (midfielders/strikers), Cathryn Finlayson, Katie Glynn, Charlotte Harrison (strikers).

Coach: Mark Hager.

Some information sourced from www.olympic.org.nz

Where and when

Matches will be played at the Riverbank Arena at Olympic Park from 29 July to 11 August.