Back-up Black Sticks goalkeeper Hamish McGregor became a
Southern Dog by technicality.
He would not play for any other region now but the route
south took some fairly significant detours.
The 24-year-old lives in Auckland and makes a living taking
people out on chartered fishing trips. He was born in
Christchurch but moved to Australia with his family when he
was very young. He returned to New Zealand and moved to
Tauranga to study and has a diploma in marine studies.
He kept his hockey up and took an opportunity to play for the
Southern Dogs in 2010 and earned selection for New Zealand
"The first time I played in a New Zealand league it was for
Southern so therefore that created me as a Southern Dog," he
While McGregor was not born or bred in the region he felt
comfortable in the environment and says he is a "Southern Dog
at heart" and "wouldn't play for anyone else".
McGregor has close friendships with Southern and Black Sticks
team-mates Blair Tarrant and Hugo Inglis.
The trio flatted together in Auckland earlier this year and
after the Olympics Games McGregor and Inglis took the
opportunity to travel around Europe together.
While they were getting some overseas experience, Southern
was surprising everyone with its run in the National Hockey
League. The Dogs won their way through to the final before
coming unstuck against Auckland.
It was a great campaign but while the wider hockey community
was taken back by Southern's rapid rise, McGregor said he was
not surprised the team had performed so well.
"They've got a fantastic group of young guys with Kane
Russell, Nick Elder and Jeremy Morris. They are all in the
under-21 [New Zealand squad]. So there is a good bunch of
young guys and also you've got guys like Blair Tarrant and
James Nation at the back, so the defensive structure is
"I knew they'd be a strong team and it is just unlucky they
didn't win the final but there is always next year."
McGregor made his only appearance for New Zealand against
Japan in 2010 and has had to play second or even third fiddle
behind regular keeper Kyle Pontifex.
But Pontifex has made himself unavailable and that has opened
the door for McGregor to add to his one international cap.
He has been selected in the Black Sticks side which will
contest the Champions Trophy in Melbourne next month.
"With a new coach [Colin Batch] there is always going to be
new opportunities but then again there is a lot of young guys
"But there is an opportunity for me to lay my claim, so
hopefully I make the most of it."