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Some promising young players from the South have been named in a trial for inclusion in the Hockey New Zealand performance network.
The network was set up as part of changes to the sport’s national structure introduced last year. There are no longer regional zones as players go back to playing in associations, and under-21 tournaments have also been done away with.
The Hockey NZ performance network is now the squad which sits directly below the Black Sticks national squad.
Players invited to the team from the Otago region are midfielder Finn Ward, striker Dylan Thomas, defender Max Rasmussen and midfielder Tessa Jopp.
Jopp has played for the Black Sticks and had been playing in Belgium before coming back to the family farm in Maniototo.
Former southern forward and Black Stick Malachi Bushcl, who had moved north last year to play in Auckland, has also been selected for the trial.
It was set to take place this weekend but has been postponed indefinitely.