WA to host all stars hockey clash featuring Kookaburras, Hockeyroos and local talent

Tyler Lovell, Jemma Buckley, Ric Charlesworth, Steph Kershaw and Brandon Gibbs are excited about the Hockey WA initiative.
Camera IconTyler Lovell, Jemma Buckley, Ric Charlesworth, Steph Kershaw and Brandon Gibbs are excited about the Hockey WA initiative. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Hockey WA has launched an ambitious program to provide competition for their high performance and development players.

The showpiece will be a one-off, all-star challenge, with Hockey Australia releasing players from the men’s and women’s national squads.

Bragging rights will be at stake in the all-stars matches on October 11 that will take the form of North v South clashes.

They will feature Kookaburras, Hockeyroos and players from the national development squad, WAIS scholarship crew, Perth Thundersticks and State under-21 and under-18 squads.

It is a chance for WA to host an international-standard sporting event for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Another innovation is the Ric Charlesworth Classic tournament with 120 local players in four men’s and four women’s teams playing over three rounds and finals.

HWA said the games would provide a platform for athletes, coaches, and officials to show their potential and give coaches an opportunity to see up-and-coming local players.

A masters all-stars match will also be played between the Perth-based Hotspurs playing a representative side before the all-stars challenge.

“As with most elite national competitions in 2020, hockey has been impacted due to COVID,” HWA chief executive Stu Gilsenan said.

“The Hockey WA all-stars challenge will see the very best male and female players come together for a day of top class hockey.

“The best players from our northern-based clubs playing off against their southern counterparts is a wonderful platform for our elite players including the Kookaburras and Hockeyroos. It will prove to be a truly fitting occasion for our hockey-loving public to come down to Perth Hockey Stadium to see some high-quality action.

“The Ric Charlesworth Classic is also an opportunity to provide our State’s elite talent with competition.”

WA hockey legend Charlesworth said: “I applaud Hockey WA for creating this initiative in a year when our talented aspirational players and coaches have not had the chance to represent their State due to COVID-19.

“The opportunity to compete against one another is crucial in the development of our WA talent and I hope the sporting public get on board.”

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