New Zealand select men's hockey team
26 June 2002
Kiwis are confident of tournament success at Manchester 2002.
Simon Towns confident of success
The New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) and the New Zealand Hockey Federation have confirmed the men’s hockey team for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, which includes 15 players who competed at the world cup in March.
NZOC Secretary General Barry Maister, an Olympic gold medallist in hockey in 1976 is confident of a good performance from the team in Manchester.
"The New Zealand Hockey Federation has worked hard with both the men's and women's squads in recent years to lift their standing in world hockey. I am sure this men's team will perform with great credit at Manchester."
The team is led by Simon Towns who is most likely to play at centre half. Paul Woolford won the battle of the keepers and Hayden Shaw, Dion Gosling and Dean Couzins will occupy the fullback positions.
The balance of the half line is made up by Blair Hopping, Wayne McIndoe and Peter Stafford with both McIndoe and Stafford offering flexibility in positions across the half line.
Mitesh Patel, Darren Smith and Ryan will be rotated as inside forwards and the four strikers Phillip Burrows, Umesh Parag, Bevan Hari and David Kosoof will also be fully rotated.
To achieve a medal the side will need to improve its goal scoring record, and penalty corner conversion rate but Towns is confident that will occur.
“When we went to the World Cup we had little time to adjust to not having our previous corner striker, Brett Leaver,” he says.
“Hayden Shaw stepped in and started to develop his drag flick effectively towards the end of the tournament.”
“Since then he has been playing in Australia in the national hockey league and I am confident he will have continued to improve his drag flick execution.”
New Zealand is ranked fourth for Manchester behind Australia, Pakistan and England.
The New Zealand Men's Hockey Team are:
Simon Towns (C)
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