14 Apr 2009

Coach gives Malaysian trip a pass mark

7:51 am on 14 April 2009

The New Zealand men's hockey coach Shane McLeod is confident the national team is heading in the right direction, following the Azlan Shah Tournament in Malaysia.

Despite being without a number of senior players, the Black Sticks went through the five-nation tournament unbeaten, finishing third after beating Pakistan for the second time in their final playoff match.

McLeod says the Malaysia tournament was a valuable exercise for the younger squad members and without trying up and coming players at the top level of what is a very young sport these days, New Zealand will struggle.

McLeod says the junior world cup in June will be the next challenge for his promising youngsters.