We're in a bit of a lull on the back of Hockey World League Final in Auckland, in terms of kiwi hockey so there's plenty of hockey funk from Youtube below to enjoy. There was a splash of news out of Hockey NZ though with the announcement of a Men's Four Nations tournament to be held in Tauranga and Hamilton, in the second half of January next year.
India, Japan and Belgium will pop down to Aotearoa and the mix of opposition teams is what excites me the most about this tournament. It's always good when Aotearoa can lure teams down here for series/tournaments as it saves the kiwis having to head overseas, plus Belgium are a fantastic international team and they go about their business in a very different fashion to both India and Japan.
This will also offer an interesting juncture in terms of squad selection for coach Darren Smith as he could look to integrate a few more established players who were unavailable for much of 2017. Or, Smith could keep things rollin' with the younger players and give them experience against varied opposition. Or, Smith could sit in-between either option and this will provide insight into how Smith's strongest squad may look and after 2017 in which a large pool of players were used, I'll be intrigued as to who Smith views as Aotearoa's best.
I made a cheeky video last week reviewing some kiwi hockey stuff, so have a geeze:
And commence the funk: