Thundersticks Head Coaches step down

Ahead of the 2022 Sultana Bran Hockey One season, Perth Thundersticks Head Coaches Stephen ‘China’ Davies and Kate Starre have announced that they will be parting ways from WA’s top-level sides, the Perth Thundersticks.

Kate Starre OAM has had a decorated career in hockey and was passionate about restoring the Perth Thundersticks women’s side to the top of the Sultana Bran Hockey One League.

Starre’s role as the Fremantle Dockers High Performance Manager in the AFLW means she will no longer lead the Thundersticks heading into 2022.

Stephen ‘China’ Davies, whose goal-scoring exploits led to his ‘Maradona of Hockey’ label, also had a decorated career in hockey and was disappointed not to be able to lead the Perth Thundersticks men into the Sultana Bran Hockey One League in seasons past.

Davies recently moved to Queensland after a business opportunity presented itself and is excited about what’s next to come.

Whilst the Sultana Bran Hockey One Leagues were cancelled in 2020-21, both Starre and Davies contributed greatly to coach and player development in new events, such as the Ric Charlesworth Classic, in their endeavor to identify and mentor the players WA needs to improve overall team performances.

Both coaches also led development programs throughout the year which featured intra-squad matches, series against the WA Under-21 team and for the women, against the Hockeyroos squad.

The men’s and women’s squads also enjoyed the opportunity to play in a series against the New Zealand Olympic Teams during their time in Perth on the way to Tokyo.

Hockey WA General Manager of Performance and Development, Dean Evans, says he’s thankful for both coaches contribution to developing WA’s top-level talent.

After a highly tumultuous and challenging period due to COVID-19, Kate and ‘China’ have decided to move on with an increased focus on their work commitments,” Evans says.

“I thank them for their contribution to nurturing and developing our elite-level talent here in WA whilst providing continuous support, despite it being a difficult period.”

“I wish them all the best and I’m sure they will have great success in their future endeavours.

Hockey WA will now undertake a recruitment process to source the next Perth Thundersticks Coaches for the 2022 season – details will be published soon on the Hockey WA website.