By Kate Allman
The Sultana Bran Hockey One League heads to the NSW capital for the first time this season as NSW Pride host the Perth Thundersticks in a Friday night blockbuster at Sydney Olympic Park.
Tickets are available through Ticketek.
Catch all the action LIVE on Kayo.
It’s the stadium that saw the Hockeyroos claim Olympic gold, and the Kookaburras bronze, during that unforgettable Sydney 2000 campaign.
The NSW Pride have the home ground advantage but plenty of pride will be on the line for both teams as the top two men’s ladder leaders attempt to halt the momentum of the other.
Both Perth Thundersticks and NSW Pride men are undefeated in 2022. Perth is ahead on points, having not had a bye yet, while the NSW Pride’s winning streak goes back further than any team in the league. The Pride men have not dropped a game in the entire existence of Hockey One since its inception in 2019.
The Thundersticks welcome back Kookaburras trio Jake Harvie, Tom Wickham and Aran Zalewski this week. However, their absence last week showcased the squad’s depth as the Thundersticks claimed a narrow 3-2 victory over finals contenders Brisbane Blaze.
Perth will be missing young guns Brodee Foster and Cambell Geddes, who are in Malaysia playing for the Burras at the Sultan of Johor Cup, but still have plenty of sharp shooters including Wickham (five goals this season) and Liam Flynn (four goals).
Tyler Lovell returns in goals, with the former Kookaburra adding 147 games of international experience to the side.
In the opposing net, Ash Thomas returns to NSW after a week off – on a mission to prove his worth for the Kookaburras job in advance of the World Cup in January.
Tokyo silver medallist Flynn Ogilvie also makes his season debut for the Pride. The midfielder’s addition comes at a crucial moment after Lachlan Sharp’s season was cut devastatingly short by a hamstring injury against the Brisbane Blaze last week.
In the women’s match, two promising finals contenders seek to claw ladder points away from the other as they march towards finals in four weeks’ time.
The Perth Thundersticks women are on 10 points but have not yet had the bye. Pride are five points behind but have had their week off. A win on Friday night would draw the teams level.
NSW’s young cubs found their teeth against Adelaide last week as midfielder Grace Young connected with the experience and class of Hockeyroo striker Grace Stewart, who leads the goal tally in the women’s league this year.
If the Perth women can shut down the Grace and Grace show, they will go a long way to blunting NSW Pride’s attack.
Local Sydney striker Abby Wilson is also a key playmaker who threatens alongside midfield stalwarts Greta Hayes and Mariah Williams.
That puts plenty of pressure on the Perth Thundersticks defence but if anyone can stand up to it, Hockeyroos keeper Aleisha Power can.
Power is aided by the safe sticks of Rachel Frusher and Penny Squibb at the back, who have both found solid form in recent weeks.
South African-born striker Line Malan can put away scintillating goals for Perth – an impressive tomahawk in week one is still one of the goals of the season for the women – and will keep Thundersticks in the fight up front.
Look out for WA Under-21s representative Britney Desilva making her debut for the Thundersticks, bringing youth and energy as the side rebounds from last week’s loss.
NSW Pride v Perth Thundersticks
Friday 21 October 2022
Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Centre
Match Start: Men’s 6:30pm local (6:30pm AEDT), Women’s 8:00pm local (8:00pm AEDT)
Broadcast: LIVE and exclusive on Kayo #NSWvPTX #HockeyOne
Umpires: Zeke Newman & Ben Hocking (Men’s), Cassidy Gallagher & Michelle Farnill (Women’s)
NSW Pride Men’s team: 5.Ash Thomas (gk), 7.Daine Richards, 14.Dylan Martin, 15.Miles Davis, 18.Charlie Dorman, 19.Tom Brown, 20.Ky Willott, 22.Flynn Ogilvie, 23.Ryan Proctor, 25.Jack Hayes (c), 26.Ehren Hazell, 28.Sam Gray, 32.Callum Mackay, 33.Sam Mudford, 35.Rory Walker
In: 5.Ash Thomas (gk), 18.Charlie Dorman, 22.Flynn Ogilvie, 33.Sam Mudford
Out: 1.Lachlan Sharp, 8.Nathanael Stewart, 9.Nathan Czinner, 16.Robbie MacLennan (gk)
Perth Thundersticks Men’s team: 1.Chris Bausor, 2.Will Battistessa, 3.Tim Geers, 4.Jake Harvie, 5.Bryn de Bes, 6.James Collins, 7.Tyler Lovell (gk), 10.Tom Wickham, 11.Tom Harvie, 12.Alistair Murray, 14.Liam Flynn, 16.Harry Golding, 17.Aran Zalewski (c), 22.Ben Taylor, 24.Matt Willis
In: 1.Chris Bausor, 4.Jake Harvie, 7.Tyler Lovell (gk), 10.Tom Wickham, 17.Aran Zalewski
Out: 8.Brodee Foster, 13.Cambell Geddes, 19.Ben Rennie (gk), 20.Sasha Thomas, 21.Ross Hall
NSW Pride Women’s team: 2.Sarah Johnston, 3.Hannah Kable, 4.Kendalle Tait, 7.Grace Stewart, 8.Alana Kavanagh, 9.Zoe Newman (gk), 10.Greta Hayes, 13.Tamsin Bunt, 18.Julia Bradley, 19.Morgan Blamey, 20.Maddi Smith (c), 23.Abigail Wilson, 24.Mariah Williams, 30.Makayla Jones, 32.Grace Young
In: 3.Hannah Kable, 4.Kendalle Tait, 13.Tamsin Bunt
Out: 6.Estelle Hughes, 11.Emma Scriven, 31.Emma Spinks
Perth Thundersticks Women’s team: 1.Kate Denning, 2.Kyra White (c), 3.Candyce Peacock, 7.Penny Squibb, 8.Georgia Wilson, 9.Shanea Tonkin, 11.Rachel Frusher, 12.Line Malan, 13.Neasa Flynn, 16.Karri Somerville, 17.Annie Gibbs, 19.Aleisha Power (gk), 21.Jade Van der Zwan, 25.Jolie Sertorio
In: 3.Candyce Peacock, 24.Britney DeSilva
Out: 10.Sarah Byrnes, 18.Renee Rockliff