The Sultana Bran Hockey One League makes its long-awaited return to the Australian sport scene with a highly anticipated double header this Thursday night to kick off the 2022 season.
Hockey Club Melbourne and NSW Pride will go toe to toe in a men’s and women’s double header to open Season 2 at the Melbourne Sports Centres – Parkville.
Featuring an abundance of stars from the world number one ranked Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos plus some quality international recruits, the second season of the Hockey One League is a mouth-watering prospect for Australian sports fans.
Kookaburras and Hockeyroos stars to medal at the recent Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games who will run out in the Hockey One League include Eddie Ockenden (Tassie Tigers), Jane Claxton (Adelaide Fire), Aran Zalewski (Perth Thundersticks), Amy Lawton (HC Melbourne), Flynn Ogilvie (NSW Pride), Claire Colwill (Brisbane Blaze) and Andrew Charter (Canberra Chill).
Tickets to all Sultana Bran Hockey One matches and franchise memberships are available now through Ticketek.
The league will also be shown LIVE on Sky Sport New Zealand.
This year’s second season of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League is a ‘re-launch’ of the competition after it was not held over the past two years because of COVID.
Sultana Bran Hockey One League General Manager, Andy Crook said it is fantastic to have the league back in the national sporting frame after the COVID enforced hiatus.
“What an exciting time for the game as after nearly three years, the Sultana Bran Hockey One League is back with a bang,” said Crook.
“With the league’s long-awaited return coming off successful Olympics and Commonwealth Games, our world class hockey players are ready to light up pitches around the country once more.”
“To have these players competing under the national spotlight at venues around the country is sure to capture the attention of not only hockey followers but general sports fans.”
Uniquely, every Sultana Bran Hockey One League fixture comprises a double header featuring a men’s and women’s match, which is unlike any other major national competition.
“Having every fixture comprising back-to-back matches contributes to what makes the Hockey One League so exciting and appealing,” said Crook.
“With seven franchises again competing to become champions in Season 2, I am expecting both the fans in the venues and those watching on Kayo and Fox Sports to be in for a real treat over the next eight weeks.”
Stars from each of the seven franchises provided their thoughts ahead of the season getting underway…
Jane Claxton – Adelaide Fire
“I’m incredibly proud to be South Australian. We’ve got a huge history in hockey, especially on the women’s side. So to get back there, give back to the community, play with girls that I grew up with again is really special. I’m incredibly excited to get back out on the pitch…a new format of hockey, new rules, more exciting, more riveting for the fans.”
Jacob Anderson – Brisbane Blaze
“Historically Queensland has always been around the top, so we want to definitely get there. A couple of younger guys are in the squad now, so we want to make sure the first couple of games we can find that rhythm and build so we can make a good run for the finals.”
Andrew Charter – Canberra Chill
“It’s always an amazing experience heading home, representing where I have my roots. It means a lot to me and it’s always fun playing in front of friends and family who I haven’t seen in a long time.”
Nathan Ephraums – HC Melbourne
“People can absolutely expect attacking hockey from us again this year. That’s the brand we like to play. Attacking hockey with the shootouts after each goal being in the competition again, fans should definitely expect a lot of goals and we’ve got a few young, exciting forwards who know how to bang them in as well, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Mariah Williams – NSW Pride
“I’m really excited to be back playing Hockey One. It has been a long time coming so I’m really excited to be back out there with the Pride girls. Fans should expect really fast and exciting hockey. We’ve got a young group of girls and they’re excited to get out there and play and show off their talent.”
Georgia Wilson – Perth Thundersticks
“We’re feeling pretty confident. We’ve got a really great training block under our belts and especially having the national girls come back into the team will provide a real depth and hopefully help educate and inspire the younger girls to step up.”
Tim Deavin – Tassie Tigers
“I love playing for Tassie…and am a Tassie boy through and through. Like most players who play in Hockey One, they love going back and representing their state. The support we get from the Tassie crowd makes a massive difference. Our first fixture against Brisbane Blaze at home is going to be really exciting. We get a lot of people out to support us, which is amazing.”
Round 1 of the Sultana Bran Hockey One 2022 Season begins this Thursday night (29 September) with the women’s and men’s double header between HC Melbourne and NSW Pride.
The other opening round fixtures sees Tassie Tigers host Brisbane Blaze on Friday night and Perth Thundersticks at home to the Adelaide Fire on Saturday. Canberra Chill have the bye in Round 1.
The 2022 Finals Series will take place in Bendigo on 19/20 November.