Team Profile: New Zealand
The Kiwis, who qualified for the 2010 Hockey World Cup after beating Malaysia in the final of the qualifiers, are the eighth ranked team in the world.
Shane McLeod, who is the head coach of the Black Sticks, was a member of the national team from 1995 to 1997. However, the period was one of the worst in the team’s history as they failed to qualify for any of the major tournaments during the time. McLeod, though, has his chance to make amends.
The Kiwis received a major setback even before the start of the tournament as star player Simon Child pulled out of the championship citing security reasons. This would have been the 21-year old player’s second World Cup appearance. But, the squad still boasts of names like Phil Burrows and Archibald.
Hayden Shaw, who scored a hat-trick in the 2002 competition and was the top scorer for his country in the 2006 World Cup with five goals, and Andrew Hayward are other players to watch out for.
This will be the eighth cup appearance for New Zealand with their best effort being a lowly seventh place in the 1973, 1975 and 1982 editions.