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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

July 17, 2023 — An opportunity at redemption


In the present day, it was introduced that the Black Sticks, the ladies’s nationwide workforce of New Zealand, wouldn’t be collaborating within the subsequent iteration of the FIH Professional League.

The transfer follows the relegation of the New Zealand males’s subject hockey workforce after it completed on the backside of the desk of the Professional League, sending it to play within the Nations Cup.

“As a founding collaborating nation within the league, this was a troublesome choice for us, however the proper one to make sure we’re greatest positioned to qualify and put together for a very powerful occasion in our calendar, the Olympic Video games,” mentioned Hockey New Zealand govt director Anthony Crummy.

The choice additionally permits the USA to take care of its place within the Professional League regardless of ending ninth within the desk.

It was a call which, apparently, the Black Sticks Ladies endorsed.

“The gamers are naturally disillusioned with this choice, with the ladies having labored so laborious through the latest European matches to complete eighth within the (nine-team) Professional League,” mentioned New Zealand Hockey Gamers Affiliation govt supervisor Glen Sulzberger. “However we perceive the problem that Professional League presents, and sit up for working along with HNZ to substantiate each applications for the following 12 months.”

This can be a New Zealand ladies’s workforce which had a collection of podium or near-podium finishes between 2011 and 2017, primarily due to the goaltending of Sally Rutherford and Bianca Russell. Their world rating, as its highest, was fourth.

However now, the Ferns are going to be seeking to make it into the Olympics through placings within the Nations Cup and a three-game collection this August in opposition to Australia.

I’ll have an interest to see whether or not that transfer advantages them, or whether or not the United Eagles’ participation within the Professional League will profit them extra in the case of the Olympics.

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