Sibling connection driving Thundersticks

Jake and Tom Harvie have been powerhouses of WA hockey for many years, shining on the local, national and international stage. The Perth Thundersticks’ 4-1 win in their JDH Hockey One season opener against Canberra Chill was certainly no exception for the brothers.

The elder of the boys, Jake, said coming away with the win was a tribute to all the hard work the Thundersticks have put into their training, and a great way to start an already exciting season.

“We had a clear focus on how (we wanted) to play and we got that right,” he said.

“We had some really positive passages of play, but there’s still stuff to work on as a team.”

This season will be the second time the pair have played in the Thundersticks together, and both brothers said they love being able to play alongside one another at such an elite level again.

“It’s always a pleasure to step out with Jake.” Tom said.

“The level of enjoyment that I get from playing with him is one that I just can’t get from playing with anyone else.

“We have a strong connection and it’s nice to know that someone else on the field knows exactly what you’re thinking all of the time, (and has your) back no matter what.”

Jake shared his brother’s sentiments, saying how proud they both were of what they’ve been able to achieve as players, and how grateful he is to not only watch Tom play next to him, but how in-tune and similar their attacking game style is.

“I just love it. We have a great connection and it was great to see him have such a high-quality game.” he said.

“(His game) might have been better than mine, so I’ll give him that one.”

Growing up in the South West region of WA, Jake and Tom have played together since they were 4 and 6, respectively.

Tom, now 23 years old, is a member of the Western Australian Institute of Sport program, and Jake, now 25, is a permanent fixture of the Kookaburra’s defensive line.

Jake made his Australian debut in 2017, at just 19 years of age. Since then, he has made 117 appearances and totalled 5 goals for the Kookaburras.

He is set to don the Green and Gold once again in the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics, and playing Hockey One, he believes, is an invaluable way to prepare for such a momentous event.

“It’s one of the best domestic competitions in the world and has been for a long time. I’m lucky with the high-level and fast-paced preparation.” Jake said.

“It’s also nice to get to play against the people I train with (in the Kookaburras) through the week.”

Jake says the thing he is looking forward to most about the upcoming Olympic Games is the opportunity and honour to represent Australia again.

“International hockey has never been as competitive as it is right now and an Olympics on European soil is an awesome opportunity to experience.”

After Thunderstick’s thrilling win on the weekend, Tom said that the team have definitely set themselves up to be a force to be reckoned with again this season.

“We have a positive group and a great team. It’s going to be an exciting year for the Thundersticks.”

But the sporting prowess in the Harvie family isn’t limited to just Jake and Tom, their grandfather, Gordon Pearce, was a triple Olympian, playing for the Australian Hockey team in 1956, ‘60 and ‘68.

Gordon’s four brothers – Cec, Eric, Julian and Mal – also represented Australia on the hockey field during the 1950s and ‘60s.

With such a rich sporting background, it’s no wonder the Harvie brothers are some of Western Australia’s – and indeed, Australia’s – strongest players.

Watch the Harvie brothers take centre stage together again when the Thundersticks take on the Tassie Tigers on Friday 20 October at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre.