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New Plymouth publican in Birmigham as Black Sticks manager for Commonwealth Games

Managing the Black Sticks in Birmingham is a long way from David Stones' regular day job as the owner of Good Home and The Rooftop Bar.

Simon O’Connor / Stuff

Managing the Black Sticks in Birmingham is a long way from David Stones’ regular day job as the owner of Good Home and The Rooftop Bar.

David Stones has gone from hosting guests at a New Plymouth restaurant to being on the sideline of the Commonwealth Games.

The owner of The Good Home, Stones is the manager of the Black Sticks men’s hockey team at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

He is one of eight from Taranaki at the Games including women’s hockey representatives Anna Crowley and Hope Ralph, Silver Fern Kelly Jury, sprinter Zoe Hobbs, rugby sevens player Michaela Blyde and boxing coach Jake Rapira.

Stones credits his previous experience with the Black Sticks for the nod to the Games.

“I have managed New Zealand U21s and a 15-month stint with the Black Sticks from 2017 with a tour to Europe and two New Zealand tours,” he said from Birmingham.

“I was asked by the new head coach Greg Nicol to apply for the role as I had worked with him before.”

He first became the manager of the Black Sticks when they hosted India for tests in 2015. Later that year, he carried on during the Oceania Cup tournament in Stratford.

Not only has he been preparing for the Commonwealth Games but was also involved in previous tours to Holland and France.

The team will also play in the Pro League in October and the World Cup in January, both in India, which Stones is preparing for.

“So, there’s lots happening at present.”

For the Games, Stones said he’s making sure the players are ready both on and off the field.

“We are very excited about this young group of men we have at the Games. These guys are a very dedicated and talented group, they have very high standards on and off the field. “

He said the aim is to bring home a medal.

“If we get through to the final, watch out.”

With Crowley and Ralph playing in the women’s team, Stones said he will be watching with interest.

“It’s an amazing feat that Taranaki is well represented. I even includes Sam Lane as a Taranakian as he was born in Taranaki and has family back home. “

Stones said there could have been another local in the women’s team if it wasn’t for an injury to Holly Pearson, which ruined her Commonwealth Games hopes.

“But our two ladies will do us proud, we all look forward to them shining on the big stage.

Hockey is one of the first sports to get underway at the Games.

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