The 2023 JDH Hockey One League – The Teams, The Players, Their Prospects

The signing of an Indian superstar, a new naming rights sponsor and hot competition over Australian Olympic selection is whipping hockey fans into a fever as the Hockey One League returns in 2023. 

The eight-week spectacle of world class men’s and women’s hockey double headers across the country is further set to explode after securing a major broadcast deal with 7plus, which will see all 54-match days streamed LIVE and free. 

After attendance and club memberships records were smashed in 2022, the League is set to explode further fresh off the announcement of Jamie Dwyer Hockey (JDH) as the new naming rights partner. 

The League has also excitedly announced Canberra as the city to host the Finals Main Event on November 25-26, making the league’s stars even more accessible to adorning fans on the eastern seaboard. 

With Olympic selection on the line for the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos, both bona-fide medal hopes in Paris 2024, the JDH Hockey One League’s third edition is set to further generate must see entertainment. 

Signalling the ambition of franchises, Canberra Chill turned heads with the massive signing of Indian drag flicking sensation Rupinder Pal Singh, a 223 game and 119 goal international beast that was at the peak of his powers in scoring four goals to guide India to the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. For hockey-mad India, the side’s triumph ended a 41-year medal drought and Singh’s stardom was confirmed as he amassed nearly one million followers across his social media platforms.  

Whilst New South Wales Pride were crowned men’s and women’s champions just ten months ago, the chasing pack have all bolstered their playing and coaching stocks in their hopes of toppling the league giants. 

For the first time this year, the League will also present a third major award, with the leading franchise on aggregate across the Men’s and Women’s competitions to be crowned winners of the inaugural One Hockey Cup this season. 

 The JDH Hockey One League’s own Adam Clifford has taken a closer look at the franchises playing lists ahead of round one action commencing on Friday October 6.  


Tickets & Memberships for the JDH Hockey One League are now on sale at INTIX.

All JDH Hockey One League matches will be streamed LIVE and free on 7plus.


Adelaide Fire 


Coach: Roel van Maastrigt 

Where they finished last season: 7th 

Players to watch: Peter Scott, Jack Holland, Fraser Heigh 

Comments: The Fire have scoured the country to top end talent and have left no stone unturned to support their new Dutch coach. They enter this year’s JDH Hockey One League with comfortably their best squad yet as they seek to secure their first win and build on the performances that saw them push champions NSW Pride and Brisbane Blaze right to the line last season. Injury to goalkeeper Christian Starkie has opened the door for emerging Victorian-based shot stopper Jed Snowden to push his case for future national honours. The signing of ex-Kookaburra Kieran Govers, 126 international games and 60 goals, is the headline act, but former Great Britain midfielder Peter Scott and Scottish star Fraser Heigh add top end talent. At 26 years of age, Scott is at the peak of his powers, while the latter is a former 100m track star that scored 29 goals in Western Australia’s Premier League this season. The new recruits also extend to Jethro Eustice (South Africa), Simon Yorsten (New Zealand) and Hugh Snowden (Victoria) providing quality decision makers across the pitch to a squad renowned for their unforgiving fighting qualities. Coupled with a more aggressive approach to pressing their opponent with attacking stacks, their home-grown talent such as Jack Holland, Fred and Angus Gray ensure Adelaide Fire loom as one of the sides to watch in Season 3.  



Coach: Hugh Purvis 

Where they finished last season: 6th  

Players to watch: Brooke Peris, Zoe Newman, Hattie Shand 

Comments: Just nine Fire players featured in every one of their matches last season, stalling the squad’s ability to progress the ball with fluidity. New coach Hugh Purvis inherits a squad on the cusp of a meteoric rise, with the star signing of Hockeyroo Brooke Peris and the astute recruitment of former NSW Pride goalkeeper Zoe Newman adding to an impressive local contingent. Hockeyroos Hattie Shand and Jane Claxton are regulars and will be pivotal to Australia’s medal hopes in Paris, while veteran Holly Evans-Gill will be a constant goal threat. Jillaroos campaigners Carly Hoffman and Lucy Sharman are expected to catch the eye, supported by international recruits Marjolein Ceulen (Netherlands) and New Zealand pair Anna Crowley and Brittany Wang. The latter duo sit on the cusp of a Black Sticks debut and will be eager to impress. 


Brisbane Blaze 


Coach: Matthew Wells 

Where they finished last season: 3rd  

Players to watch: Tim Howard, Corey Weyer, Joel Rintala  

Comments: Who could forget their incredible weather-interrupted semi final against the NSW Pride that cruelly ended with a 5-3 penalty shootout loss? The torrential conditions made the match result a virtual coin toss and unfortunately brought the game down to a territory battle. Since, the Blaze have rejuvenated their squad ahead of another title-tilt under superstar new coach Matthew Wells and will look fresh in a bright new orange kit that will be a huge seller. A squad bristling with Kookaburras talent including Jacob Anderson, Jake Whetton, Jayden Atkinson, Tim Howard, Daniel Beale and Joel Rintala must be respected, while New Zealand international Scott Boyde and play making defender Corey Weyer add significant polish. While Rintala, the partner of Olympic swimmer Shayna Jack, will assume the front man duties when he recovers from injury, several youngsters impressed in a Top End series against the Northern Territory Stingers recently, including Diarmid Chappel and Will Mathison. The infamous ‘Benjamin Button’ storyline of thirty-five-year-old star forward Cale Cramer will also continue as he looks to improve on his record of nine goals in 2022. 



Coach: Nikki Taylor 

Where they finished last season: 2nd  

Players to watch: Stephanie Kershaw, Claire Colwill, Hannah Cullum-Sanders 

Comments: Heartbreakingly fell inches short at the final hurdle, falling in a gripping penalty shootout to NSW Pride in 2022. When the dust settled, it was a remarkable achievement after their tournament was precariously placed on a knife’s edge after they dropped their opening two matches to the Tassie Tigers and Canberra Chill respectively. Twelve months later, the Blaze return as arguably the title favourites with the addition of Maddy Fitzpatrick, Jodie Kenny and Steph Kershaw into the group. That star studded trio will complement their plethora of home-grown Hockeyroos talent in Rosie Malone, Claire Colwill, Hannah Cullum-Sanders, Tatum Stewart, Morgan Gallagher and Savannah Fitzpatrick. It’s a toxic mix for opposition to scout against, with several deadly penalty corner options, the poise of Colwill and Kershaw in midfield and the electric pace of Goal of the Year winner Cullum-Sanders, who still etches scars in the memories of the Adelaide Fire! It’s a big season for national hopefuls Ruby Harris and Casey Dolkens, so expect the inaugural women’s champions to be lighting up the JDH Hockey One League in Season 3. 


Canberra Chill


Coach: Seyi Onitiri 

Where they finished last season: 4th  

Players to watch: Rupinder Pal Singh, Ben Staines, Brendan Hill 

Comments: The ‘feel good’ story of last season. Who could forget their recovery from 4-1 down away to the Tassie Tigers with just two minutes remaining in a never-say-die performance that announced midfielder Davis Atkin to the hockey world. The Chill went on to defeat the Adelaide Fire, Perth Thundersticks and NSW Pride, leaving no-one surprised as Andrew Charter claimed the Player of the League award and Atkin, Ben Staines and Anand Gupte were all rewarded with national call-ups. The signing of Rupinder Pal Singh, the Indian maestro with 119 international goals, sent shock waves throughout the League and has been supported by the recruitment of Spaniard Jaume Torras. But the luck hasn’t followed the Chill in the off-season, with James Day moving to the Perth Thundersticks, Ben Craig gone, Charter sidelined with a hamstring injury and Gupte racing the clock to feature as well. The Chill won’t be deterred though. With the likes of Jake Staines, Aiden Dooley and Jay MacDonald continuing to progress, there could be another chapter unwritten to their fairytale just yet. 



Coach: Matt Cook 

Where they finished last season: 5th  

Players to watch: Edwina Bone, Katie Mullan, Kalindi Commerford 

Comments: The Chill were just edged out of fourth position by two points and left to rue a slow start at home against the Perth Thundersticks that left them 3-0 down after just six minutes. With former Hockeyroos defender and inspirational leader Edwina Bone returning to reinstate a hard-nosed edge to their defending, the sky is the limit in 2023 for Matt Cook’s re-shaped squad. Three well-credentialled Irish internationals in Katie Mullan, Roison Upton and Sarah Hawkshaw have linked up with the squad, along with Kaitlin Cotter from New Zealand. The latter will hope to replicate big sister Hannah’s six goal haul for HC Melbourne last year. With the experience and composure of Tamsin Bunt, Mikaela Patterson and goalkeeper Rene Hunter, the Chill can get the best out of rising star Lauren Yee. Who knows, it could be the women’s side being heralded in the nation’s capital on the last weekend in November. 


HC Melbourne


Coach: Andrew Smith 

Where they finished last season: 6th  

Players to watch: Cooper Burns, Liam Henderson, Nathan Ephraums 

Comments: Were crushed by a slow start last season that scuppered their top four hopes but showed their devastating promise with a 6-2 thumping of the Tassie Tigers that brought their final hopes to a dead end. New coach Andrew Smith appears to have rejuvenated the squad with eight new faces. Rising star Cooper Burns possesses the blistering speed, power and finesse to make a run at the Paris Olympic squad provided he maintains a positive mindset, while creative midfielder Liam Henderson looks a beauty set to have hockey purists salivating with his awareness and close control. Former West Australian Frazer Gerrard looks to have settled quickly into his new environment, whilst Josh Simmonds and Damon Steffens pack plenty of punch from the penalty corner. With the small margins amongst the Hockey One League sides, Craig Marais and Nathan Ephraums are capable of destroying opposition defences with a single moment of brilliance and are deadly in the attacking circle. 



Coach: Dan Mitchell 

Where they finished last season: 3rd  

Players to watch: Amy Lawton, Aisling Utri, Olivia Downes 

Comments: After topping the table it all fell apart for HC Melbourne in last season’s finals series forward of centre, with the hosts failing to hit the scoreboard in either match in Bendigo. But write them off at your peril, with 2022 Player of the League Amy Lawton one of the finest midfielders in world hockey and increasingly able to find the net, whilst former Hockeyroos goalkeeper Rachael Lynch marshals an experienced back four. In a boost, former Hockeyroo Laura Barden is back after taking all before her in Belgium. Stars such as Krissy Bates, Joanne Peeters and Nicola Hammond are also all reaching the peak of their powers and are capable of individually swinging a match off their own stick. Expect the likes of Aisling Utri, Josie Lawton, Olivia Downes and Carly James to grow their influence on the competition as they push for higher honours, supported by experienced pair and perennial finalists Hannah Gravenhall and Megan Alakus.  


NSW Pride 


Coach: Brent Livermore 

Where they finished last season: 1st 

Players to watch: Tom Craig, Blake Govers, Ky Willott 

Comments: The two-time Hockey One League champions timed their run to perfection last season, coming from a goal down to see off the Blaze in an epic semi-final before edging out the Perth Thundersticks in a gripping final thanks to Ky Willott’s tomahawk screamer and subsequent conversion. The Brent Livermore and Jack Hayes leadership combination will relish walking around with a target on their back in 2023, with a more settled line-up and a host of players looking to push their case for higher honours, particularly goalie Ash Thomas and Daine Richards. Their claims for a third straight trophy include having additional access to Kookaburras stars Tim Brand, Blake Govers and Lachie Sharp who all accounted for just one appearance in last year’s edition and their elite top-end Kookaburras talent of Matt Dawson, Tom Craig, Willott, Flynn Ogilvie and Dylan Martin. With further growth expected from the likes of Sam Gray, Tom Brown and Miles Davis, the Pride will remain the hunted for their Hockey One League rivals. 



Coach: Scott Barker 

Where they finished last season: 1st  

Players to watch: Jocelyn Bartram, Grace Stewart, Grace Young 

Comments: Jocelyn Bartram’s shootout heroics and Greta Hayes’ title-winning shootout will go down in Hockey One League folklore, as the Pride came from behind and survived a frantic last quarter with two yellow cards to defeat the Brisbane Blaze. With an average-age of 23, last year’s national champions return with a new coach, the highly credentialed Scott Barker, who previously coached the Russian national side. The Pride have a brilliant spine, set up from the back by Hockeyroos number one Bartram, returnee Kaitlin Nobbs, followed by national teammates Grace Young, Mariah Williams and Grace Stewart. When you consider the likes of Hayes, Abby Wilson, alongside Australia A representatives Maddison Smith, Alice Arnott and National Under-21 Player of the Tournament Alana Kavanagh, there’s seemingly an embarrassment of riches at their disposal. The recruitment of Laura Reid from the Canberra Chill has flown under the radar, but there’s no chance of that happening for the Pride as their competitors seek to unseat them from pole position.  


Perth Thundersticks 


Coach: Craig Wilson 

Where they finished last season: 2nd  

Players to watch: Jake Harvie, Matt Bird, James Collins  

Comments: Threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the NSW Pride in last year’s Hockey One League Grand Final and were ultimately undone by a single piece of individual brilliance. The Thundersticks return stronger in 2023 and have compiled a list so extensive, there’s set to be many long selection meetings throughout the competition. The big names return such as Kookaburras stars Aran Zalewski, Jake Harvie, Tom Wickham, James Collins and Ben Rennie, whilst the inclusion of former national players Trent Mitton, Matt Bird, James Day and Matthew Willis has lifted the ceiling on what might be possible. Throw in former Aussie shot stopper Tyler Lovell being out to remind national selectors of his class, serial goal machine Liam Flynn out to prove he’s no flat track bully at club level and mix in emerging stars Cambell Geddes, Brodee Foster and Tom Harvie. These ingredients could just be the perfect recipe to de-throne the NSW Pride and send the trophy west. 



Coach: Phil Hulbert 

Where they finished last season: 3rd  

Players to watch: Penny Squibb, Aleisha Power, Georgina Dowd 

Comments: The Thundersticks retained coach Phil Hulbertafter a 2022 season that saw them narrowly lose out to NSW Pride 1-0 in the semi-final before claiming the third-place play-off with a convincing win over HC Melbourne. The Sandgropers return with a mighty defensive group led by Hockeyroos trio Aleisha Power, Penny Squibb and Karri Somerville, with the latter two an ever-present danger from the top of the battery. Phillipa Morgan and Rachel Frusher are others that will lead the charge as they seek to impress Hockeyroos coach Katrina Powell. But the Thundersticks’ finals fortunes will largely rest on the shoulders of their forwards after they failed to score more than three goals in any match last season. Georgina Dowd, Georgia Wilson, Shanea Tonkin and Line Malan all have an eye for goal and with a more ruthless end product, the Thundersticks could be the headline act this year. 


Tassie Tigers 


Coach: Stephen McMullen 

Where they finished last season: 5th  

Players to watch: Jeremy Hayward, Jack Welch, Eddie Ockenden 

Comments: The Tigers were devastated after their late fade-out against the Canberra Chill at home and it provided to be the death knell on their finals hopes. On closer examination, Tassie’s woes were in attack as they registered just a solitary field goal throughout last year’s competition, and they have worked in the off-season to arrest these challenges. The signing of Ehren Hazell from NSW Pride, Western Australian Player of the Season Jack Welch and a fit-again Sam McCulloch will undoubtedly lift their prospects, complementing the devastating set piece ability of Kookaburras star Jeremy Hayward. National representatives Eddie Ockenden, Josh Beltz, Welch and Hayden Beltz will play handy support acts, while veteran defenders Tim Deavin, Jeremy Edwards and ex-New Zealander Alex Shaw will help shore up things at the back. Their goalkeeping stocks are on the rise, while keep an eye out for nineteen-year-old midfielder Lachie Rogers – who has faster hands than a Wild West gunslinger and incredible wheels. The Tigers must start the tournament well and their first up, home clash seeking revenge against HC Melbourne looks a beauty and represents a chance for the franchise to extend their League record for the largest crowd. 



Coach: Tim Strapp 

Where they finished last season: 7th  

Players to watch: Maddi Brooks, Kathryn Lane, Jade Smith 

Comments: The Tigers women’s program enters a new era with former HC Melbourne coach Tim Strapp at the helm, with a fantastic mix of experienced international talent laden with home-grown local products. Undoubtedly the story of Tasmanian hockey this year has been the meteoric rise of recently turned 19-year-old attacking midfielder Maddi Brooks, who after debuting in front of her home crowd, has quickly amassed 13 international appearances and two goals. The additions of Great Britain pair Kathryn Lane and Lucy Millington and former Blaze forward Jade Smith add serious quality to a rapidly improving local core. A production line of Tasmanian talent coming through the ranks, particularly those that made the semi-finals of the National Under-21 championships back in April, will be further supported by seasoned pros Sarah McCambridge and Emily Donovan. Goalkeepers Evie Dalton and Camilla Vaughan also represent the future of Australian shot stopping, after both growing their reputations with eye-catching displays last season.