New Zealand : Tessa Jopp ‘so happy’ to be playing
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Black Stick Tessa Jopp’s international career remains clouded in doubt.

She was forced out of the national squad due to medical concerns the day the team left for the Gold Coast to compete in  the Commonwealth Games.

The midfielder has kept her health issues “close” while she deals with the ramifications.

It is unclear whether she will play at the highest level again. But she is fit enough to play in the National Hockey League and is captaining the Southern Storm this season.

“I’m good to go for NHL but have stuff to sort out for other hockey,” Jopp (23) said.

“I’m just so happy to be back playing.

“It has been five months and that is a long time away from hockey. And it is just nice to see friends, who you go through hockey with, again.”

Jopp said missing out on a chance to represent her country at the Commonwealth Games was a horrible feeling. But the blow was soften by the her team-mates.”I was pretty gutted because I got pulled out on the day we were flying. That was quite hard to take.

“But Mum and Dad were already booked and asked me to come over and watch.

“I’m so glad I went over and supported the team. I got to go into the athlete’s village and they made me feel like I was really a part of it.

“That was quite good for me to help me move on through this tough situation.”

The Black Sticks beat Australia 4-1 in the gold-medal match which helped as well.

No such luck for the Storm, though. It was routed 9-1 by Canterbury in the opening round.

Jopp, who is based in Auckland, said the Storm’s build-up had been disrupted. The heavy defeat to Canterbury was really the team’s first hit-out and the connections were not where they needed to be.

“Obviously there are things to work on. But luckily, for us, it is just a lot of little things and they can easily be fixed.”

The tournament resumes in Wellington today, when Southern plays Northland, which lost 4-0 to North Harbour. Tomorrow the Storm will play Central, which started with a confident 4-0 win against Capital.