Less than a week remains until the Perth Thundersticks bring top-class hockey back to the screaming crowds of WA for the highly anticipated Sultana Bran Hockey One League season.
The squads have now been finalised with several local, national and international stars set to take the pitch for the WA’s premier hockey team, with their hopes firmly set on reclaiming a national title for the first time in over a decade.
Hockey One will return this year for the first time since its inaugural season in 2019, with the last two instalments being delayed due to COVID.
Hockey WA chief executive Fabian Ross said there was plenty of excitement building for this year’s league.
“It was obviously heartbreaking to see the 2020 and 2021 Hockey One League seasons cancelled due to COVID-19,” Ross said.
“We are really excited for this year’s tournament and I think hockey fans in Perth and across the state are itching to see our stars playing at home again.
“It has been really challenging for a lot of our athletes who have trained for so many years to get to this level, so to see them back on the pitch is something I am very much looking forward to, and they should be proud of their dedication and persistence.
“There is plenty for WA hockey fans to look forward to this year in Hockey One and we hope to see as many of them as possible at our home games.”
Perth will play three home games against Adelaide, Brisbane and Tassie for the season, and travel to play Melbourne, New South Wales and Canberra.
The Thundersticks men and women finished sixth and fifth respectively in the inaugural Hockey One but are both confident they can do some damage in this year’s league.
New Thundersticks women’s coach Phil Hulbert said the squad were primed to bring success back to WA in Hockey One this year.
“Previously the Thundersticks women – the Diamonds – had a really good record,” he said.
“Recently it hasn’t been as successful, I think they have made one finals series since 2010, so we have been starved of a bit of success.
“I think we have the team this year to really take it all the way, I am not coaching to come second, that is for sure.”
As for the men, new coach David Guest said he wanted to instil a good culture in his group that could breed success this year and into the future.
“I want to bring some of that good culture and good feeling into the Thundersticks group,” he said.
“I think we are going to perform really well with the squad we have.
“I think we have really good players and a really good mix.
“Hockey is in a really good place in WA, it is growing momentum, and I think we will do well.”
The Thundersticks will kick off their 2022 campaign against the Adelaide Fire on Saturday 1 October at Perth Hockey Stadium at Curtin University.
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 membership, securing 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!