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Blacks Sticks for Amsterdam
01 Jun 2006 08:28

One new face and the return of three experienced players highlight the Black Sticks women's team to contest the Rabo Hockey Champions Trophy in Holland in July.

National Development Squad striker Laura Douglas, 23, has been rewarded for her substantial progress training with the Northern Region High Performance squad, in Auckland this year.

Douglas returned home to Whangarei from America last September after completing a university hockey scholarship programme.

Her subsequent performances for Northland in the 2005 National Hockey League earned her call up to National Development Squad and she has continued to develop since as part of the national programme.

The team also includes three more experienced players to bolster the team that played at the Samsung Hockey World Cup Qualifier a month ago.

Canterbury defender Jo Galletly (26 caps) has been a solid contributor to the national team in the past and is included to continue her development.

Uncompromising Central fullback Sheree Phillips returns from a knee injury. Phillips was unavailable for selection earlier in the year and now makes a welcome return to the side’s defence.

The third player is former Canterbury midfielder Rachel Robertson, who is now based in Perth where she has been playing for new Australian Hockey League champions the WA Diamonds.

Robertson was not considered for selection until now because she was unable to centralise in Christchurch in January, but it was always intended that she would come back into the national programme.

“National Coach Ian Rutledge said: Rachel brings back great leadership qualities and experience to the team.”

All three of the returning players, Galletly, Phillips and Robertson were part of the successful team which won the Champions Challenge in 2005.

Four players from the WCQ team will not be joining the team at the Champions Trophy in July. They are former captain Suzie Muirhead, who has retired and striker Kayla Sharland, who suffered a knee injury in the first game of the Qualifier and is not expected to return to hockey this year. Bridget Kight and Lizzie Ryan did not gain selection.

Also not considered was Canterbury midfielder Meredith Orr who injured her knee during centralisation in Christchurch at the beginning of this year, and is hopeful of returning to hockey later this year.

Defender Lizzy Igasan has also indicated her unavailability. Igasan continues to play club hockey and will play for North Harbour in the National Hockey League in September. Igasan remains in the frame for future Black Sticks selection.

Black Sticks  - Rabo Hockey Champions Trophy
Stacey Carr, Honor Dillon, Laura Douglas, Tara Drysdale, Clarissa Eshuis, Krystal Forgesson, Jo Galletly, Charlotte Harrison, Beth Jurgeleit, Frances Kreft, Kate Mahon, Jane Maley, Emily Naylor, Sheree Phillips, Rachel Robertson, Kate Saunders, Anita Wawatai, Diana Weavers

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