The Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2022 Finals Main Event will not only bring the best teams in Australia to Bendigo this weekend, it will also feature a host of the country’s best hockey officials.
Some of the cream of Australian hockey umpires and technical officials will take charge of the eight matches across the Finals Main Event.
Highly regarded officials Josh Burt and Tammy Standley have been assigned as the onsite and offsite Competition Directors respectively.
Former world class umpires Minka Woolley and Peter Wright, who have both umpired at the highest level internationally, are the Umpire Managers for the Finals.
The umpires who will officiate the Women’s finals matches are Nicola Brown, Tara Leonard, Aleisha Neumann and Kristy Robertson.
Dan Johnston, Tim Sheahan, Zeke Newman and Jim Unkles will umpire the Men’s matches.
An exciting young prosect heralding from the Yarra Valley Hockey Club, Nicola Brown umpired at this year’s Australian U21 Championships. Notably, she also umpired an Under 21 international series in Canberra in 2019.
Tara Leonard is an experienced umpire who has whistled at the highest level nationally since 2017. With an Under 21 Trans-Tasman Series also under her belt, she umpired the 2019 Hockey One League Grand Final before becoming a mother last year.
Aleisha Neumann has become one of Australia’s most respected umpires internationally. Her umpiring achievements include the semi final at this year’s Women’s World Cup, the Tokyo Olympics and the last two Commonwealth Games.
Kristy Robertson is from Goulburn in regional NSW and has been an international umpire since 2017. She was recently appointed to the Women’s Nations Cup and holds both an international indoor and outdoor ranking.
On the men’s side, Dan Johnston is a veteran international and national umpire, easily recognisable for regularly sporting a freshly cut mullet.
From the Mentone Hockey Club, Tim Sheahan is one of Australia’s rising umpire stars. He umpired at the 2022 Australian U21 Championships and made his international debut earlier this year when he umpired the series between the Kookaburras and Malaysia in Perth.
With an FIH International Elite ranking and an International Indoor ranking, Zeke Newman is one of Australia’s best umpires. Following the Hockey One League Finals, he is preparing to officiate at the Men’s Nations Cup in South Africa.
A product of the Camberwell Hockey Club, Jim Unkles is another of Australia’s leading umpires. He umpired the Men’s Final at the U21 Championships and was recently appointed to umpire the Test Series between the Kookaburras and India in Adelaide starting on 26 November.
Sultana Bran Hockey One League General Manager Andy Crook congratulated the contingent and said Australia and the League was blessed to have such highly credentialled and regarded officials.
“The reputation of the Hockey One League as one of the world’s best domestic leagues because of the quality of players running around is reinforced by the calibre of officials we have in the league,” said Crook.
“I congratulate each of them on their appointments for the Finals and thank every official that has contributed to the League’s success this year and getting us to this point of the season.”
“With everything on the line in Finals tensions go up. There is more pressure on players, coaches and officials, and it is great to have such a highly regarded official contingent for what promises to be a fantastic weekend of hockey in Bendigo.”
Other umpires who have officiated in the Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2022 Season include Australia’s highest ranked male umpire Steve Rogers (who will umpire at the upcoming Men’s World Cup in India), Rhiannon Murrie, Iris Milham, Cassidy Gallagher, Emily Carroll, Michelle Farnhill, Deb O’Connell, Kerryl Brown, Jayden Pearson, Ben Hocking, Stirling Sharpe, Nathan Jennings, Ben de Young and Aaron Gotting.
Every match of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League 2022 Finals Main Event will be broadcast on FOX Sports 507 and Kayo.