High hopes for strong junior squad at worlds
A talented hockey duo has been selected for the national 18-strong squad which will compete at the Junior Hockey World Cup.
Pt Chevalier forward Jared Panchia and central Auckland midfielder Ben Radonovich will be part of the Junior Black Sticks team taking on the world’s best under-21 sides at the competition to be held from December 6 to 15 in India.
Head coach Grant Edwards has included Black Sticks players like 19-year-old Panchia along with young upand-coming talent in his squad.
‘‘It’s a very strong and wellbalanced team. We have a good mix of international experience with some exciting newcomers,’’ Edwards says.
‘‘Our biggest strength is certainly our conditioning. We have good strength in our defensive organisation as well as talented forwards.’’
Panchia has 18 caps for the Black Sticks and is part of the championship-winning Auckland side.
The junior side will face tough competition in India, he says.
‘‘We have a really strong team and most of us have already played together which is a big positive,’’ Panchia says. ‘‘The fact that we know our teammates so well gives us an advantage and we’re very competitive as a team.’’
They will have a warm-up trip to Australia before departing for India.