Premiership-winning coach to lead Perth Thundersticks in 2023

Craig Wilson has been officially announced as the new coach of the Perth Thundersticks men’s team.

Wilson, an established hockey stalwart in Western Australia, will take the reins of WA’s top hockey side and bring a wealth of premiership-winning experience to the Thundersticks fold.

The current coach of the Melville City Hockey Club men’s team, Wilson has driven the side to back-to-back Premier League premierships in the two seasons prior, after claiming the club’s inaugural premiership in 2021. Wilson also tasted premiership success in 2012 as the coach of the Victoria Park men’s side.

With an established group and emerging young talent in WA, Wilson says he is excited to showcase the strength of WA hockey at the national level.

“I am both excited and very proud to be leading the representative pinnacle of Hockey in WA,” Wilson said.

“I see the Thundersticks as the platform which unites the Premier League and channels the great work that is done at a local level, binding them, and then testing it at the National Level – it’s really exciting.

“The added element of this year’s Hockey One being a very close steppingstone to the Paris 2024 Olympics will also bring the best out of everyone and make for a very strong competition in 2023.”

Wilson is set to have an innovative approach to the side, with new players he’s admired from afar at his disposal.

“I’d describe myself as a passionate coach with an analytical mind, that looks for innovative ways to get the best out of both individuals and teams to achieve success in the high-performance environment – I want to leave no stone unturned,” Wilson said.

“I am also really looking forward to coaching the top echelon of WA’s talent pool, many of the players I have admired from a distance, but now get to intricately assist with their hockey journey.”

Hockey WA Performance & Pathways Manager Trid Woodhouse is thrilled about the addition of Wilson to the Thundersticks program.

“We are really pleased to have someone of Craig’s calibre on board to drive our Thundersticks men in 2023,” Woodhouse said.

“Craig has a stellar coaching record and proven success in a high-level league, driving the Melville City and former Victoria Park men’s Premier League teams to success.

“This, combined with his overall character and ability to build relationships with his players, is a really exciting prospect for the team’s upcoming season.”

Preparations for this year’s Hockey One season are underway for the Perth Thundersticks, with Wilson’s and women’s coach Phil Hulbert’s sights set on glory in 2023.