Nelson Hockey has 15 New Zealand Masters representatives for the 2017 season. They are Gene Cooper, Jacky Day, Craig Mant, Mike Gafa, Jaron Steffens, Gary Wilson, Tim Brenton, Diane Webb, Mark Gibbons. Karen Eden front left, Brett Butcher, Jay Sigley, Craig Brett and absent are Nick Perrott and Jimmy Mathews. Photo Supplied.

15 NZ Masters hockey reps for region

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Nelson hockey has 15 players who  have been selected to represent New Zealand in May  next year at the biannual trans-Tasman hockey  Challenge Series against Australia.

All up 13 New Zealand  teams will do battle against Australia to be held in Whangarei from May 2 to 6.

Players will compete in a three test series  across 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+ and 60+ men’s and women’s age groups

Trials were held at North Harbour Stadium recently with over 350 players showing their wares across both trial days.

In the Womens 35 grade, Nelson will be represented by Jay Sigley and Diane Webb who were both involved in the winning New Zealand team in Melbourne in 2015.

In the Womens 40s grade Karen Eden will be back representing her country along with first time representative Jackie Day who only took back up playing in goal again last year after a 10 year break.

In the men’s grade Jaron Steffens will be involved in his 2nd endeavour with the New Zealand team after coming back with a bronze from the World Cup held earlier this year in Canberra.

Gene Cooper and Mark Gibbons will once again be involved in the men’s 45 grade.

Both these experienced players will be pivotal in the team’s plans if they are to take the gold medal in May 2017.

Veterans Craig Brett, Brett Butcher and Nick Perrott will be joined by Mike Gafa who is moving up from the 45 men into the men’s 50 grade,

These players have amassed over 300 international games between them.

They will be joined by new comer Craig Mant who has also been named as a non-Traveling reserve in the team.

Tim Brenton and Jimmy Mathews will be involved in the Men’s 60+ grade along with Gary Wilson also being a non-travelling reserve for the team.

All the New Zealand players will now be involved in a busy four month training program which will also involve Nelsons younger High performance players striving for places in the Capital Hockey age-group teams which will be selected early next year.

The Master players will be helping out  in a new  mentoring program set up recently at Nelson Hockey and will be wanting the young Nelson players to push them to achieve their goals in 2017.