The Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2022 Season may only one round in but the impact of a swagger of quality international recruits is already being felt.
While there is a major focus on the Kookaburras, Hockeyroos and impressive local Australian hockey talent competing in the Hockey One League, hockey fans are no doubt keeping a keen eye on the league’s foreign contingent.
In all, ten international players from four different countries will feature in Season 2.
Adelaide Fire has a trio of New Zealanders in its women’s team, with defender Siennah Cowles and Izzy Gill plus midfielder Julia King signing for the South Australian franchise.
Joining them in the City of Churches is highly touted American goalkeeper Kelsey Bing who competed for the USA in the latest FIH Pro League season.
“I have wanted to go abroad to play because the United States doesn’t have a club system, so I was looking at going to the Netherlands or Australia,” said Bing.
“I leaned towards Australia because we have our Olympic qualifiers coming up next Autumn. Our previous US coach Greg Drake is from Melbourne and started looking around for me.
“I knew Adelaide Fire was decent because they made the finals in the inaugural Hockey One season and I was looking for a good opportunity to get some matches in, learn a different style of play and meet people.
“That’s one of the nice things about hockey, it’s a tight and welcoming community so you get to know people, so I think that’s pretty neat to expand outside my bubble.”
“We have three other imports in the Adelaide Fire team from New Zealand so it’s good to have a group of us from outside of Adelaide.
“In saying that I’m not going to sugar coat it…it is going to take a few games for us to connect on the pitch.”
“Coming over here is a great way to broaden my horizons about what it means to be a team member but also what it means to be a leader.”
The Tassie Tigers Women’s Team also has a talented American trio who made their mark in helping the Season 1 cellar dwellers stun Brisbane Blaze in a shootout.
Brooke DeBerdine, Cassie Sumfest and Jillian Wolgemuth were all a part of the American team that came 4th at the Pan America Cup in Chile earlier this year.
Excitingly, Japanese defender Shihori Oikawa, who won the Women’s MVP in the inaugural Sultana Bran Hockey One League season, will again line up for Canberra Chill as they open their campaign on Thursday night after having the bye in Round 1.
The team from the nation’s capital has also secured New Zealand siblings Madison and Katie Doar. Katie has cemented herself as a regular for the Black Sticks (New Zealand’s national team), having made 37 international appearances.
Look out for these players to be making waves as the Sultana Bran Hockey One League returns in a big way.