It Has been a pretty busy month for the Black Sticks Mens side. Currently we are in Malaysia playing in the Azlan Shah Cup, which is a pretty big tournament in the year for us. Its importance has been heightened even further this year, as it is a tournament that involves six teams that will be competing in London in July. We are using this tournament to practice our tournament hockey as it has a very similar format to the Olympics. It is a great opportunity for us to perfect some of our protocols and general game play as we head into the business time of the year. It is also the last opportunity for players to push for selections before the Olympic side will be named.
So far we have been doing pretty well with three wins from three games, which is a great start for us. We had a bit of sickness in the camp early on which affected quite a few of the boys, me included. This resulted in me sitting on the sidelines for a couple of games. In these games we had two good wins. A 5-1 win over India and a 5-2 win over Argentina which is was great for us as we have India in our pool at the Olympics so is good to have the advantage on them early on. Next up we had Pakistan, which was a really tough match. We played this match at 4pm and the temperature on field would have been nearing the 40 degree mark. We scored a couple of goals early which gave us a good buffer and managed to hold onto the 2 goal margin throughout the match winning 3-1 in the end. This was my first run of the tournament and I was stoked to be back out on the field after a few days in bed.
We have just had a couple of rest days so we are all pretty recharged and ready to go for our game vs Great Britain tomorrow! If you want to follow the games there are generally twitter updates being sent out during them from @blacksticks and also my twitter @hugoinglis29 will have updates on what we are up to! I’ll send another blog through at the end of the tournament and will be hoping to report that we have a trophy to bring home!!!