A wave of excitement surrounds the return of the JDH Hockey One League this weekend, with the third edition strengthened by an upsurge in player movement between teams that has upset the status quo.
While all eyes will centre on players chasing Kookaburras and Hockeyroos selection for the Olympic Games next year, several franchises have made some astute signings to bolster their prospects of lifting the title when it goes on the line in Canberra on November 26.
These moves are complemented by the massive international signing of Indian mega star Rupinder Pal Singh (Canberra Chill) and mix of Argentinian, Irish, South African, Dutch, English, Scottish and New Zealand recruits, making the JDH Hockey One League the most exciting hockey competition in the world right now.
Check out Adam Clifford’s top five player moves below:
Brooke Peris – Adelaide Fire (formerly Canberra Chill)
Hockey royalty in Australia, Brooke played with Canberra Chill in 2019 before a leg injury forced her from the action last season. The first cousin of national sporting treasure Nova Peris, Brooke is a lightning quick midfielder that is just approaching the peak of her powers after playing 194 international matches. Peris immediately demonstrates that the Adelaide Fire are serious business this campaign.
James Day – Perth Thundersticks (formerly Canberra Chill)
The Perth Thundersticks have pulled off a recruiting coup after Day scored eight penalty corner goals in 2022 to help guide the Canberra Chill to the semi-finals. Incredibly, the Thundersticks were one of just two sides Day didn’t find the net against and after the Sandgropers drew blanks in the title decider, the 28-year old’s big moment experience and innate tackling ability could be deciding factors this time around when the league hits the nation’s capital.
Ehren Hazell – Tassie Tigers (formerly NSW Pride)
The Tassie Tigers narrowly slipped out of the top four in the final round last year, despite scoring just a single field goal all tournament. It’s no surprise then that the Tigers coaching staff headhunted former Burras player Hazell. The former NSW Pride forward is a natural goal machine, as evidenced by his record of 18 goals in just 13 club matches this season. Expect Hazell to benefit from increased opportunities but also the relaxed culture of the squad from the Apple Isle.
Zoe Newman – Adelaide Fire (formerly NSW Pride)
The second Hockeyroo to join the Fire in a major recruitment blitz, Newman has enhanced her opportunities to push for more international appearances with a move to the Fire – with the number one keeper spot locked in for Jocelyn Bartram at the NSW Pride. The 513th women’s player to represent her country after debuting in February alongside Grace Young and Maddi Smith, Newman will relish linking up with Hattie Shand and Jane Claxton as the Fire seek to keep a shutout at MATE Stadium.
Jade Smith – Tassie Tigers (formerly Brisbane Blaze)
After representing Australia A earlier this year, Smith links up with Jillaroos assistant coach Tim Strapp at the Tigers to maximise her opportunities for further honours. An ill-timed injury and strong striking stocks at the Brisbane Blaze brought on the change, but after scoring a hat-trick against the Northern Territory Stingers a fortnight ago, Smith’s mesmerising stickwork, tireless work ethic and eye for goal will make her an instant fan favourite with the parochial Hobart crowds.
Other player moves in season 3:
Laura Reid – NSW Pride (formerly Canberra Chill), Tamsin Bunt – Tassie Tigers (formerly NSW Pride), Jed Snowden – Adelaide Fire (formerly HC Melbourne), Lexie Pickering – Perth Thundersticks (formerly NSW Pride), Jesse Reid – Perth Thundersticks (formerly NSW Pride).