Wealth of knowledge on Thundersticks coaching panel set to drive success

A host of hockey heroes, including Commonwealth Games, Australian Hockey League and World Cup winners, will lead the men’s and women’s Perth Thundersticks sides as part of a star-packed coaching cohort.

The assembled coaching panel for each team is full of top-level experience, world-class talent and WA legends as they look to shoot the State back to the top of hockey in the country.

New men’s head coach David Guest will be joined by assistant coaches Phil Marshall and Tim Bates, while Phil Hulbert – who has taken the helm of the women’s team – will be joined by assistants Ashleigh Nelson and Steph Andrews.

Men’s assistant Marshall has been the head coach of Whitford Hockey Club’s top men’s team since 2017 and was the man in charge when the side was promoted into the Premier League, while Bates currently plays and is one of the senior members of Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club’s finals-bound Premier One men.

Perth Thundersticks men’s coach David Guest said his two new assistants had been given the nod to join the coaching panel after impressing in WA’s premier hockey league.

“Phil and Tim are doing awesome jobs at their clubs and I wanted to give them the opportunity to coach at that next level so they get a little bit more experience,” Guest said.

“We all think similarly about the game of hockey and they bring different skills as well, so it is a good mix.”

“They can go back to their clubs and give the guys in their club the knowledge they have learned from being involved in a Hockey One campaign.

Both Marshall and Bates have played for Australia at the junior, senior or masters level, and Guest said they also had the ability to coach at the top level.

“At some point in their careers, I am sure they would want to coach at a higher level as an assistant or a head coach,” he said.

“I want to try and help them along the way on that journey.

“I really connected with these guys, they wanted to be involved and they are up-and-coming, good-quality coaches.”

Also joining the panel is WASPs stalwart Murray McIntyre, who will come on board to help instil a positive culture in the team.

Guest said he hoped the 550-game hockey legend would act as an inspiration to the Thundersticks men.

“Murray is a pretty inspirational guy in terms of what he has done in the game,” Guest said.

“Playing until he is 48 or something and managing to stay fit and healthy.

“He is just a good role model for everyone.”

New women’s coach Phil Hulbert will be joined by former Hockeyroo Ashleigh Nelson and WAIS head coach Steph Andrews for the Thundersticks 2022 Hockey One campaign.

Hulbert is a former Thundersticks player in his own right and has seen recent success as coach of the Victoria Park Xavier Hockey Club women’s side in the Premier League, winning the past two Grand Finals.

Nelson is a Commonwealth Games dual gold medallist and is still playing at the Premier One level, while Andrews is a former assistant coach of the Hockeyroos and has coached Canada and the Australian Capital Territory.

Hulbert said it was exciting to have two WA hockey legends on board to help bring a national women’s title back to WA for the first time in over a decade.

“I am really excited to have both of them on board,” Hulbert said.

“They are going to be vital members for us at Hockey One, and I am really happy to have them as my assistants.

“They have both been involved at the highest level and have great hockey minds which I will turn to throughout the campaign.

“Having a good coaching group is so important to having a successful team, and I think the group we have pulled together will help bring that success.”

The Thundersticks will host the Adelaide Fire on October 1 to kick off their campaign.

The Perth Thundersticks need your support this Sultana Bran Hockey One League season, with our first double header to be played at Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University on Saturday 1 October. Show your support by purchasing a membershipsecuring your tickets or through our Perth Thundersticks Player Partnership Program. We want all of WA behind our elite-level men’s and women’s teams!