Hockeyroos in Olympic showdown while Thundersticks dress up

Perth Thundersticks and co-Australian captain Aran Zalewski in action. Picture: AAP
Perth Thundersticks and co-Australian captain Aran Zalewski in action. Picture: AAP

THE Hockeyroos will play a crucial must-win Olympic Qualifier against Russia this weekend for entry into the 2020 Tokyo games.

They will play after this Saturday’s Hockey One games featuring the Perth Thundersticks at Curtin University’s Perth Hockey Stadium.

Both Perth Thundersticks men and women face crucial games against NSW Pride to force their way into finals contention, with the men playing at 2pm and the women at 3.30pm.

The games will be broadcast live on Kayo Sports.

This will be followed by the Olympic Qualifier as the world number two Hockeyroos need to defeat the 19th ranked Russian team on goal aggregate to qualify for the Olympics.

This last shot opportunity for the Hockeyroos to qualify for Tokyo 2020 comes after they narrowly lost to New Zealand on goal difference in the best-of-three Oceania Cup last month.

“The rare combination of our Perth Thundersticks playing in the new Sultana Bran Hockey One competition and an Olympic Qualifying game at the high performance centre of Australian hockey will see the best of Australian hockey on show, Hockey WA chief executive Stu Gilsenan said.

Fortescue Metals Group is the game day partner.

Fortescue support both the men’s and women’s national teams, as well as the Pilbara Community Hockey Program (PCHP), which involves workshops with members of the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos and 150 students from 12 local schools in the remote Pilbara region of WA.

“Hockey is a fantastic sport for the whole family and we all look forward to cheering on the Hockeyroos as they prepare for the 2020 Olympics,” Fortescue community, environment and government director Tim Langmead said.

“We are proud to be able to support both national teams and bring more hockey to the community as game day partner for Saturday’s Hockey One games.”

Entry to the game is free for children under 16, with fans encouraged to come in fancy dress, with lots of activities.

Tickets are available online through Ticketek at www.ticketek.com.au.