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Sean Findlay, a newcomer with just four caps, and his mentor Shea McAleese, heading to his fourth Olympics with 314 caps for his country, are the main features of the New Zealand men’s hockey squad named today for the Tokyo Olympics.
 
The women’s squad features three outstanding young players Olivia Shannon, Katie Doar and Hope Ralph alongside the experienced duo of captain Stacey Michelsen and vice- captain Samantha Charlton who are both heading to their third Olympic Games.
 
The squads of 16 feature five women (Ella Gunson, Michelsen, Charlton, Rose Keddell and Olivia Merry) and five men (Steve Edwards, McAleese, Stephen Jenness, Hugo Inglis and Blair Tarrant) with more than 200 caps in black, while Edwards, Inglis, Nick Wilson and Jenness will also be attending their third Olympics.
 
New Zealand Men’s Head Coach Darren Smith said while it was an experienced team they were taking to Tokyo it was also the first major tournament for a number of players.
 
“It’s a pretty experienced group but it’s also the first pinnacle event for players like Sam Lane who have previously missed out through injury or Jacob Smith and Nick Ross who have been rewarded for their perseverance. They’ve shown they’re really determined to be there.”
 
Smith said it was an emotional phone call to the bolter of the squad Findlay, who is the current New Zealand Under-21 Player of the Year.
 
“Sean is a real go-getter and an incredibly versatile player. Shea has had a big influence over Sean’s career and it was a special moment when they got to play together in the recent series with Australia. Shea was equally as excited when I called him.”
 
New Zealand Women’s Head Coach Graham Shaw admitted it was one of the toughest teams to select with only four internationals in 15 months.
 
“With the lack of opportunities we’ve had it was a difficult squad to select. It’s certainly been very unusual circumstances but we’ve got a balanced squad that poses a massive threat on attack alongside a strong defensive unit.”
 
Shaw was excited by the potential of the young trio of Shannon, Doar and Ralph.
 
“We have some exciting young talent in our ranks especially Olivia (Shannon), Katie (Doar) and Hope (Ralph) who have stood up in recent years and all have huge futures in the black dress.”
 
New Zealand Women’s Captain Michelsen, currently the most capped New Zealand women’s player of all time with 291 matches, said the team was pleased to be finally heading to Tokyo after such a long wait.
 
"All the players are so thrilled to hear their names selected for Tokyo. It has been a long training period leading to this point, but now, with less than 50 days to go, you can feel the excitement amongst the group."

New Zealand Men’s Captain Tarrant, off to his second Olympics, said the recent series against Australia had given the team a much-needed taste of international competition that the European sides had been enjoying recently.
 
“The Kookaburras put us under real pressure and we want more of that so we can get better and be playing as well as we can come Tokyo time.”

NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith congratulated all the athletes named to the team.

"Well done to all of the athletes who've been named to the New Zealand Team today," said Smith.

"New Zealand has an extremely proud history in hockey at the Olympic Games and we can't wait to see you add to that legacy in just 43 days time in Tokyo."
 
The Black Sticks squads head to Perth next Friday to play two doubleheaders against Australia on 26 and 27 June.

 
New Zealand Women’s squad for Tokyo
 

Name

Association

Caps (goals)

Position

Samantha Charlton (vice-captain)

Tauranga

255 (8)

Midfielder

Tarryn Davey

Thames Valley

66 (1)

Defender

Frances Davies

Tauranga

81

Defender

Stephanie Dickins

North Harbour

27 (2)

Defender

Katie Doar

Auckland

19

Midfielder

Ella Gunson

Northland

224 (11)

Defender

Megan Hull

Wairarapa

35 (1)

Defender

Rose Keddell

Tauranga

211 (16)

Midfielder

Julia King

Auckland

126 (9)

Midfielder

Olivia Merry

Canterbury

236 (113)

Striker

Stacey Michelsen (captain)

Northland

291 (34)

Midfielder

Grace O'Hanlon

Auckland

63

Goalkeeper

Hope Ralph

Taranaki

11 (2)

Striker

Olivia Shannon

Manawatu

29 (4)

Striker

Kelsey Smith

Nelson

99 (14)

Midfielder

Elizabeth Thompson

Auckland

191 (12)

Defender

 

New Zealand Men’s squad for Tokyo
 

Name

Association

Caps (goals)

Position

Steve Edwards

North Harbour

224 (23)

Midfielder

Sean Findlay

Hawke's Bay

4 (1)

Midfielder

Leon Hayward

Auckland

10

Goalkeeper

Hugo Inglis (vice-captain)

Otago

235 (66)

Midfielder

Stephen Jenness

Wellington

252 (91)

Striker

Sam Lane

Canterbury

68 (20)

Striker

Dane Lett

Wellington

81 (2)

Defender

Shea McAleese

Hawke's Bay

314 (34)

Defender

Jared Panchia

Auckland

137 (26)

Midfielder

Nick Ross

Otago

131 (4)

Midfielder

Kane Russell

Otago

165 (71)

Defender

Jacob Smith

Wellington

89 (12)

Striker

Blair Tarrant (captain)

Otago

215 (4)

Defender

Dylan Thomas

Hawke's Bay

30 (2)

Midfielder

Nick Wilson

Manawatu

174 (76)

Striker

Nic Woods

Waikato

131 (21)

Defender



The reserves for the women’s side are Georgia Barnett, Kaitlin Cotter, Anna Crowley, Alia Jaques, Tessa Jopp, Tyler Lench, Holly Pearson and Brooke Roberts. The reserves for the men’s side are David Brydon, Dominic Dixon, George Enersen, Sam Hiha, Oliver MacIntyre, Harry Miskimmin, George Muir, Dominic Newman and Aidan Sarikaya. A decision on travelling and non-travelling reserves will be made within the next month.

The naming of the hockey teams takes the total number of athletes selected to the New Zealand Team to 85. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games
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