Team Selection: Debutants to headline trip to Adelaide

The Perth Thundersticks teams are locked and loaded for their JDH Hockey One round five double header against Adelaide Fire.


UPDATE: Georgina Dowd will return to the women’s squad going up against Adelaide Fire on Sunday, replacing Neasa Flynn who has been withdrawn due to illness.

As the Perth Thundersticks look to solidify their spot in the JDH Hockey One Finals, a WA young gun is poised to make her debut.

Elyssa Melville has been named to run out for her first Hockey One match as part of the Thundersticks’ 15-person squad travelling to Adelaide to take on the Adelaide Fire on Sunday 5 November.

The 19-year-old joins the squad off the back of an outstanding Premier League season with Whitford Hockey Club, who were promoted to the top women’s division this year.

Melville won the Rechelle Hawkes Youth Player of the Year award and polled 14 votes to finish fifth in the Charlesworth Medal vote count, which was won by Thundersticks teammate Liné Malan.

Melville said she was “super excited” to be making her Hockey One debut off the back of a successful year so far.

“The club season was really good, it was [Whitford’s] first year up in Premier League so I didn’t know what to expect at all,” she said.

“[Winning Rechelle Hawkes Youth Player of the Year] was nice to get that recognition at the end of the season.

“Now getting into the Thundersticks and making my debut, it’s all happened pretty fast.

“It’s pretty surreal but it’s all very exciting.”

With the Thundersticks’ undefeated streak on the line against Adelaide Fire on Sunday, Melville said the squad was very keen to keep the streak going.

“We all want to play some good hockey and keep gelling as a squad,” she said.

Melville comes in to replace Georgina Dowd, who was omitted from the line-up.


The Starting 15 vs Adelaide Fire

1. Pippa Morgan – proudly supported by ERM

4. Elyssa Melville – proudly supported by Coast Edge Developments & DT38 Australia Pty Ltd The Trustee of the Dylan Tombides Trust

6. Sarah Byrnes – proudly supported by Bravo Apples

7. Penny Squibb – proudly supported by Amelia Park Lamb

8. Georgia Wilson – proudly supported by Western Stabilisers

9. Shanea Tonkin – proudly supported by C Results

10. Jesse Reid

11. Rachel Frusher (C)

12. Liné Malan – proudly supported by Raine & Horne Commercial WA

13. Lexie Pickering – proudly supported by Hawkesbury Community Sport by Hawkesbury Prohibition 0% Pale Ale

14. Elizabeth Duguid (GK) – proudly supported by Consolidated Minerals Pty Ltd

17. Annie Gibbs

18. Renee Rockliff – proudly supported by Architectural Ceiling Systems

19. Georgina Dowd

20. Karri Somerville

In: Elyssa Melville (debut), Georgina Dowd

Out: Neasa Flynn (illness)


As the clock winds down towards the JDH Hockey One Finals, the Perth Thundersticks are bringing in further reinforcements to salvage their quest for gold.

Bryn De Bes and Frank Main have been named to run out for their first Hockey One matches for 2023, joining the Thundersticks’ 15-person squad that will be travelling to South Australia to take on the Adelaide Fire on Sunday 5 November.

De Bes and Main come in to replace Will Battistessa, who has been omitted from the line-up, as well as Trent Mitton, who will miss the interstate trip for personal reasons.

De Bes previously featured in eight matches for the Thundersticks during the 2022 Hockey One season and featured for Wesley South Perth Hockey Club during the 2023 Premier League season.

De Bes said it was “really pleasing” to have the opportunity to play his first Hockey One match for 2023 after finding it difficult to break into the side.

“I’m keen to get out there and play well,” he said.

“I think the quality of the group is quite a high level.

“I don’t necessarily think the results have reflected how strong our group is.”

Ahead of Sunday’s match, De Bes said the squad will be focussing on going back to basics and implementing a good playing structure.

“We want to play to our strengths and not going away from that is pretty key for us,” he said.

“This weekend we definitely want to put out 60 minutes of a solid performance.”

For Main, Sunday’s match will be his JDH Hockey One debut since previously representing WA in the Men’s Australian Hockey League.

Main competed in the AHL from 2015 to 2017 before taking a break from hockey in 2018, eventually returning to Premier League for UWA in 2021.


The Starting 15 vs Adelaide Fire

1. Matt Bird

3. Tim Geers

4. Jake Harvie – proudly supported by Harley Dykstra

5. Tom Wickham – proudly supported by ERM

6. Bryn De Bes

9. James Day – proudly supported by Espresso Works

11. Tom Harvie – proudly supported by Bravo Apples & Consolidated Minerals Pty Ltd

12. Alistair Murray

13. Brayden King – proudly supported by AMS Installation & Maintenance Solutions

14. Matt Willis

15. Liam Flynn

17. Aran Zalewski (C) – proudly supported by Western Stabilisers

18. Ben Rennie (GK)

20. Frank Main

26. James Collins – proudly supported by Henry M’s

In: Bryn De Bes, Frank Main (Hockey One debut)

Out: Will Battistessa (omitted), Trent Mitton (personal reasons)


Women’s vs Adelaide Fire

Sunday 5 November 10.30am AWST (1.00pm ACDT)

MATE Stadium

Men’s vs Adelaide Fire

Sunday 5 November 12.00pm AWST (2.30pm ACDT)

MATE Stadium


Watch the game LIVE and FREE on 7Plus.