Shea McAleese, Verity Sharland and Bryce Collins joins Graham Shaw’s back room coaching set up
Hockey New Zealand (HNZ) is delighted to announce the appointment of three new assistant coaches to the Vantage Black Sticks Women’s (VBSW) programme. Olympian Shea McAleese, former NZ U18s Head Coach Verity Sharland, and current HNZ Athlete Pathway Manager Bryce Collins, have all agreed to join Graham Shaw in the back room with a World Cup and Commonwealth Games on the horizon.
Recently retired Black Stick McAleese has been heavily involved with coaching throughout his playing career where he amassed 320 caps for New Zealand. On the opportunity to return to the national set up, McAleese said, “I’m very excited to return to international level, this time in a coaching capacity – having coached both overseas and here in NZ this is the logical next step on my journey.
“I look forward to working with Graham, as well as Bryce and Verity, to help take this talented team to the next level.”
Having forged a reputation as one of the country’s finest up-and-coming coaches, Sharland is well known in hockey circles. After coaching a number of the current VBSW players at age-group level she says “the opportunity to link up with a lot of these incredible athletes again is one that I couldn’t turn down.
“There is a strong emergence of talent within our women, coupled with grit and determination, and I’m motivated to be part of what I’m sure will be a dominant team moving forward.”
Meanwhile, Collins has been serving as the Athlete Pathway Manager for HNZ helping to identify and nurture talent throughout the country – he adds “this is such an exciting time for our programme. Not only do we have 2 major tournaments in the next 6 months but we have a young team, with a good mix of experience, that we can really develop and turn into world-beaters for years to come.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with these women over the last couple of years in my role as Athlete Pathway Manager and cannot wait to continue the relationship.”
Darren Smith, General Manager – High Performance, is thrilled by the caliber of coaching staff joining the VBSW team at such a pivotal time.
“You couldn’t ask for a more talented, dedicated, and hardworking trio to support Graham. I am delighted that we have been able to recruit some of this country’s finest coaches for our VBSW programme.”