Adelaide Fire make coaching appointments for Season 2

Hockey SA and the Adelaide Fire are pleased to announce the coaching appointments for Season 2 of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League.

Inaugural Adelaide Fire Coach, MELODY COOPER, has been appointed in a newly formed role as the Adelaide Fire High Performance Director. Supporting Melody are two new faces to the Adelaide Fire – HUGH PURVIS as Men’s Coach and JASON BUTCHER as Women’s Coach.

The new-look coaching structure sees the Adelaide Fire welcome a wealth of international experience from Melody, Hugh and Jason.

As a former international player with the New Zealand Black Sticks Women’s Team, Melody Cooper brings extensive coaching experience as well as an existing connection to the Adelaide Fire.

Melody will lead the continued development and delivery of both the Adelaide Fire Men’s & Women’s program, have oversight across coaching, selection, recruitment, operations and performance support to optimise athlete performance to achieve strategic objectives.

The High Performance Director role will also create opportunities that pave the way for a strong talent pathway and ongoing succession plan to support the future of upcoming South Australian talent.

South Australia aims to strengthen the talent pool this season by joining forces with the Northern Territory and gaining the experience of Hockey NT Technical Director, Jason Butcher as Head Coach of the Adelaide Fire Women’s team.

This partnership will allow the talent from NT the opportunity to feature in the Sultana Bran Hockey One League as members of the Adelaide Fire squads, with the inclusion of nationally identified Hockey NT athletes Zach Rakkas and Nathan Hochman included in the Adelaide Fire Men’s squad.

This partnership will also allow Hockey NT athletes trialling opportunities for both Adelaide Fire Men’s and Women’s teams in 2022 & 2023. In addition, the NT Stingers will head to SA and play a Men’s and Women’s Hockey SA representative side in June-July 2023 as a form of trialling for both the 2023 Adelaide Fire squads.

Jason Butcher brings global experience from his time with the Auckland Fury, New Zealand Black Sticks, Hockeyroos, Jillaroos and more recently as Head Coach of the WA Thundersticks and Hockey NT’s Technical Director.

His current connection with the NT talent allows immediate insight into key players available to boost the SA contingents.

Hugh Purvis also brings considerable international experience and knowledge to the coaching panel through his time with the Canadian Men’s Program, AHL Women’s Team and most recently with the Hockeyroos.

As current Hockey Head Coach for the South Australian Sports Institute (SASI), Hugh is already working closely with the key SA hockey talent whom we expect to feature across the Adelaide Fire squads.

Melody, Hugh and Jason have already been working tirelessly in preparation for the 2022 Sultana Bran Hockey One League Season and will look to make announcements of key players in the coming weeks.

The Adelaide Fire opens its Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2022 campaign on 1st October against the Perth Thundersticks.

The Adelaide Fire is proudly sponsored by continuing Major Partner, MATE.

MELODY COOPER – High Performance Director


  • Adelaide Fire Women’s Head Coach, 3rd place (2019)
  • SA Men’s Hot Shots, Co-Head Coach, 4 years (only female Head Coach at AHL at the time) (2014-2018)
  • Hockey SA Premier League Coach of the Year (2014)
  • Premier League Men’s Adelaide Hockey Club Head Coach, 2 years (2012-2014)


  • New Zealand Black Sticks Women’s Team, London Olympics, 4th place (2012)
  • Captain of the SA Suns, AHL Winners (2011)
  • MVP Hockey SA Premier League Winner, twice
  • Premier League Women’s, Premiership winner with Adelaide Hockey Club, twice
  • M1M Winner, Seacliff Hockey Club, played 5 years in the men’s competition locally


JASON BUTCHER – Adelaide Fire Women’s Coach

  • Hockey NT Technical Director (2021 – current)
  • Coach Educator with FIH (2020 – current)
  • Hockey WA High Performance Manager (2014 – 2019)
  • Head Coach of the WA Thundersticks (2015 – 2016) and Diamonds (2013 – 2014)
  • GK and support coach for the New Zealand Blacksticks (2011 – 2012)
  • Head Coach New Zealand U18s Women’s (2011 – 2012)
  • Auckland Hockey Technical Director (2010 – 2013)
  • Hockey Auckland Fury Head Coach (2011 – 2012)
  • Assistant Coach with AIS (2008 – 2010)
  • Assistant Coach to Hockeyroos (2009 – 2010)
  • Assistant Coach to Jillaroos (2009 – 2010)
  • Hockey Head Coach with SASI (2007 – 2008)
  • Head Coach with Northern Territory Institute of Sport (2003 – 2006)


HUGH PURVIS – Adelaide Fire Men’s Coach

  • SASI Head Coach (2021 – Current)
  • Hockeyroos Assistant Coach (2022 World Cup Campaign)
  • Canadian Men’s National Program (2018-2020) –
    • Men’s Senior Development Squad Head Coach
    • Men’s National Team Domestic Trainer
    • Men’s National Team Video Analyst
    • Interim Head Coach (2020)
  • SA State Team Experience –
    • AHL Women’s Assistant Coach (2017)
    • U21 Men’s Head Coach (2017-2018)
    • U21 Men’s Assistant Coach (2015-2016)
    • U18W Head Coach (2015)
  • Hockey SA High Performance Manager (2014-2018)