Sticks match ready
A NEW national hockey competition is set to launch in Bentley next month.
Hockey One is an upcoming men’s and women’s field hockey competition organised by Hockey Australia that will replace the Australian Hockey League.
The Perth Thundersticks are part of a sevenround competition starting at the Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University against Melbourne on Sunday, September 29.
The competition will serve as Australia’s premier domestic hockey league, helping unearth future talent for selection to the Australian national teams, the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos.
The WA women’s side has been announced and its new uniforms unveiled.
The Thundersticks’ coach is Ed Welch, whose career includes coaching women’s Premier League team Westside Wolves to a premiership in 2015 and the semi-finals in 2016.
Other coaching honours include coaching the WA men to a gold medal in the U21 men’s championships in 2011 and the Canterbury Ladies Hockey Club to sixth position in the 2016-17 European Cup.
“Ed has been involved with the WA Diamonds previously as an assistant coach and has a strong understanding of our highperformance program and culture and will bring a diversity of experience and a wealth of knowledge to the program,” Hockey WA chief executive Stu Gilsenan said.
“He has led programs successfully overseas and also in the local Premier League as the head coach of Westside Wolves.”
The squad includes current Hockeyroos Penny Squibb and Georgia Wilson.
The women’s team started training recently and will train three times weekly before the squad is reduced to 20 players at the end of August.
The Thundersticks’ men’s and women’s teams will play back-to-back games, with finals in midnovember.
Memberships are available from www.perth thundersticks.memberlink.net.au.