Hockey: local players named in WA Thundersticks preliminary AHL squad

Hockey: local players named in WA Thundersticks preliminary AHL squad

A NUMBER of local players have been announced for the WA Thundersticks team to compete in this year’s Australian Hockey League (AHL).

Wesley South Perth players Kiel Brown, Bryn de Bes, Brandon Gibbs, Trent Mitton, Duncan Pearce, Daniel Rayney, James Richardson and Cale Walsh are all apart of the preliminary squad.

Victoria Park Xavier players Ian Burcher, James Collins, Brodie Sarre and Sasha Thomas are also in the squad alongside Old Aquinians players Daniel Robertson and Aran Zalewski.

As the country’s premier domestic hockey tournament, the AHL always features a wide range of top class athletes – including players from the Kookaburras and the Hockeyroos – as each of the country’s states and territories go head to head in search of glory.

Last year the Thundersticks thrilled home crowds with some stunning performances and dramatic wins, including a shootout victory over New South Wales, before finishing runners-up to Victoria after losing the gold medal match 5-3.

The Thundersticks selection panel, chaired by John Bestall and with the assistance of Murray McIntyre, Paul Armitage, Stephen Davies, Chris O’Reilly and Jason Butcher, have unveiled the preliminary list of names they hoped would do WA proud again.

Bestall said he was impressed with the level of the players he had seen.

“It’s a little bit of a transition period. We’ve been up there but are having a transition from an older group to having some younger players coming through but we’re aiming to win,” he said.

The selectors have left out a number of potential squad members in the current WA under-21 team with a view to assess their performances at the upcoming National Championships.

As a result, the final squad will be updated following the conclusion of the tournament.

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