Sticks match ready

Canning Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

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.mem­ber­

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