Negotiations between Hockey New Zealand and the Hockey
Players' Association have stalled over whether Nick Wilson
and Simon Child will be able to sidestep a national training
camp in February to play the entire Indian Hockey League.
The pair were the only two of nine Black Sticks available for
auction for the new league, which is due to run from January
16 to February 10 and involve six franchises, based in Delhi,
Lucknow, Mumbai, Mohali, Ranchi and either Bangalore or
Wilson was bought by the Ranchi Rhinos for US$24,000 and
Child by the Delhi Wave Riders for US$20,000.
But their ability to pocket all of that in the pay-for-play
league will be compromised if they are forced to return to
New Zealand for a national training camp from February 5-12.
Attendance at this stage is compulsory and new Black Sticks
coach Colin Batch said earlier this month he wasn't prepared
to change the date.
"They will still have to come back for the camp," Batch said.
"We have put the camp there for a reason and the national
programme comes first. I would want every player who is
selected in the national squad to attend that camp because
it's an important phase in our yearly structure and it's one
of the few times we have all the national players together."
The HIL was initially scheduled to finish by the end of
January, prompting Hockey New Zealand to schedule the camp
when they did. They can't push it back in February because it
would clash with the start of the new European season which
many New Zealand players, including Wilson and Child, are
Hockey New Zealand and the players' association met today to
try to thrash out an agreement but couldn't find a workable
solution. Hockey New Zealand want the players to return for
the camp and the players' association want the players to be
able to cash in while they can.
The two parties agreed to extend the current memorandum of
understanding (player contracts), which was due to expire at
the end of the year, until March 31 as they attempt to find a
solution. Neither party was able to comment as they work
through the process.
Wilson said he would abide by whatever agreement is reached.
"I will definitely go to India in the first place, it's just
a matter of whether I will come back early for the camp," the
22-year-old striker said. "I would like to do both but it's
just a matter of which one I am able to do. I like playing
for New Zealand and I want to play in the Indian league. We
just have to negotiate where the best place is for me.
"We don't get a lot of financial support playing for New
Zealand. Hockey New Zealand do the best they can but it's
quite a big programme to run and sponsorship isn't anywhere
near like rugby.
"It means a hell of a lot for New Zealand players to play in
a league like this because it means we can commit fully to
our training and playing for New Zealand as well. The thing I
want to do and everyone wants to do is play for New Zealand
for a long time. The Indian league is a great opportunity to
Each of the six franchises is made up of 24 players - 14
Indian and 10 overseas players - and Dutchman Teun de Nooijer
went for the highest price when the Uttar Pradesh Wizards
forked out US$87,400.