The Australian Hockey League has swung into overdrive, with games coming thick and fast which hasn't been the best thing for our New Zealand Futures men's team. The lads currently sit at the bottom of Pool A with two losses and a draw, while our ladies are doing better and are 4th in Pool A with two wins an a loss.
The men got their AHL campaign underway with a 1-1 draw against Malaysia, with the only kiwi goal coming via a smoking upright reverse from Jared Jones. Unfortunately, the lads then suffered some heavy defeats as they went down to Northern Territory 8-0 and were then touched up by New South Wales 7-2.
NSW currently lead the Pool with three wins from their three games, while NT sit two spots ahed of the kiwis in 4th and went down to Malaysia 3-1 yesterday. It doesn't get any easier for the kiwi lads as they face Victoria (2nd) tomorrow night before taking on Queensland on Tuesday night (1:30am Wed NZT). QLD are currently 5th, with only one win so this could be the opportunity for the kiwis to snatch a win.
Benedict van Woerkom leads the goal-scorers for the kiwis after grabbing a double against NT and Jones is the only other kiwi goal-scorer.
The ladies got their tournament off to a good start with a 3-1 win over Malaysia, before going down to Canberra 3-1. They managed to grab a 1-0 win over Western Australia in an impressive effort as this was WA's first loss of the tournament and they are currently leading the women's competition. The kiwis face Queensland (3rd) tomorrow night before taking on Tasmania on Wednesday, with the game against Queensland likely to be crucial while Tasmania are currently at the bottom of the table.
Catherine Tinning leads the kiwi goal-scorers with 2 goals and Amy Robinson has the other kiwi goal.
Our NZ Futures ladies are our best chance of making an impression late AHL finals, which only makes this game against QLD that much more important as a win or a draw will see them stay in the mix, especially with what should be an easier game against Tasmania coming up.