With the New Zealand Black Sticks Olympic Squads being released and both teams having confirmed participation in the London 2012 Games it is exciting times for Hockey in New Zealand. Owen Glenn has just helped NZ Hockey secure the 2011 Mens Champions Trophy tournament here for the first time. Owen's generosity, towards hockey in particular has been fantastic. Selfless acts such as these are ones that give athletes the drive and determination to really succeed and I know that we will be doing everything we can in December at the tournament to perform well and thank Owen through our actions on the pitch.
Before the Champions Trophy, however, is the Oceania Cup in Hobart which will see both the Mens and Womens hockey sides in action vs our Trans Tasman rivals. These games will provide a really good bench mark of where we are at in terms of our Olympic build up and gives us the opportunity to continue closing the gap between us and the Aussies who are the current World Champions. After that series a few of the experienced (old) boys will head home and give a few younger players an opportunity to gain some experience at a 9 side tournament in Perth. This is set to be an exciting development to hockey and will see a lot of new rules and variations tested and is something we are looking forward to getting stuck into.
We head into camp next week for what will be an intense build up to what is going to be a month jam-packed with hockey. With around 300 days to go until London we need to make sure every training, game, recovery session even team meeting is helping us take the right steps toward the podium in London.