Jesse Reid was born for hockey success. The daughter of 1988 Olympic gold medallist and Hockey Australia Legend Sharon Buchanan OAM, Reid was a standout in Queensland’s junior ranks.
Success followed her to the senior levels as she helped the Brisbane Blaze claim the inaugural Hockey One League title in 2019.
Having since moved and set up life in Western Australia, the state her mum heralds from, Reid now runs out for the league leading Perth Thundersticks.
After falling narrowly short in a Premier League Grand Final shootout with her local club University of WA, Reid has ridden the wave of another incredible JDH Hockey One campaign where the Thundersticks remained undefeated up until last weekend.
The Thundersticks’ clash against Brisbane Blaze on Sunday brings with it not only the pressure of Reid having to play against her former teammates, but against the side smarting from a Grand Final loss and gunning for their second Hockey One League title.
“It’s very exciting – I see myself as a WA girl now – so win or lose, it’s with my Thundersticks,” said Reid.
“But I’m very excited for the contest, I always look forward to the hard games…they’re the ones you work so hard for, so am looking forward to it.”
“We had a good start to the season, but once it comes up to finals, they’re the important games so we’re still trying to work on things and trying to build each week.”
The 22-year-old has taken the move to the other side of the country in her stride. More than half a dozen of her UWA teammates are in the Thundersticks squad and the change in atmosphere has given her a renewed outlook on the game.
“The girls over here are amazing,” said Reid. “I’ve loved being a part of the squad and the team.
“The coaches have been so good – they each bring something different to the group. I think the culture and the balance has been amazing, so I’ve absolutely loved it.”
Having tasted success throughout her formative years and a Hockey One title at her first attempt, Reid already knows what if feels like to be part of a winning culture and feels like something good is brewing in the west.
“The goal is the same, the purpose is the same, except the people are different [in Perth],” said Reid.
“In Brisbane there was a very strong history all the way through my juniors (U15s, U18s, U21s) of winning, and so I think that culture is really strong in Queensland from being such a successful state.
“But I think that the girls here are building something special at a national level. In the old Australian Hockey League, WA were so strong for so long and I definitely think we’re building back to that again.
“The desire to be a winning state is there. Everyone puts in the hard yards and is working hard behind the scenes and on the field.”
While a finals place is guaranteed regardless of Sunday’s top of the table showdown, Reid says the Thundersticks want to be playing their best hockey of the season when the final whistle blows on Grand Final Day.
“We’re in finals – that’s all well and good – but we’re still trying to build each and every week,” she said.
“We go into it to go all the way, so we definitely won’t stop trying and we’ll fight all the way to the end and hopefully hold up the trophy.”
Sunday’s women’s match between the Brisbane Blaze and Perth Thundersticks at the Queensland State Hockey Centre will follow the men’s match that starts at 2pm local time (3pm AEDT).