Coaster for World Cup

By Nicholas McBride

Greymouth woman Genevieve Macilquham has been given an early 21st birthday present in the form of a last minute call-up to join the Junior Black Sticks squad for the Junior Hockey World Cup, in Germany.
Macilquham was initially named as one of four non-travelling reserves for the event to be held in Monchengladbach from July 27 to August 4.
She said yesterday she had no expectations that she would eventually make the playing squad. But on Sunday she got a phone call to say that Canterbury player Olivia Merry had broken a rib and would have to pull out of the squad.
Macilquham will now fly to Germany, on Friday.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Head coach Chris Leslie said he backed Macilquham.
“Genevieve is a defender, so we will be reshuffling our attacking line. She is a sound and steady player, a good team member, who has been very diligent with her training so it is great to give her this opportunity.”
Macilquham said it was unfortunate that her inclusion was as the result of another player’s bad luck.
“I feel for the girl who got injured.”
Since finding out she made the squad, it had been a week of rushing around.
“Everything has been very whirlwind.”
The 20-year-old defender has previously played with the team during their Oceania World Cup qualifier on the Gold Coast at the start of the year. She played with them again in May in Auckland for a series against Korea.
If she did not have enough reason already to remember her trip to Germany, Macilquham will turn 21 while away.
“I’ll definitely remember that birthday.”
The Junior Black Sticks will first play Russia on July 27, followed by India and Australia in pool C of the World Cup.