The 2018 Australian Hockey League (AHL) commences this
weekend with the return of a month-long home-and-away format.
Australian Hockey’s elite domestic competition consists of
three rounds played in every capital city before the finals weekend takes place
on the Gold Coast from Thursday 25 October to Sunday 28 October.
This year’s AHL includes rule modifications and innovations
that will see conversion goals, PumpPlays and the removal of draws, with tied
matches decided by penalties.
The 2018 AHL will be the final edition of the competition
before a revamped league is launched next year.
The two pools are SA, NT, Victoria and WA (Pool A) and
Canberra, NSW, Queensland and Tasmania (Pool B) across both women’s and men’s
Round One sees the AHL return to Sydney, Hobart, Adelaide
and Darwin, with the competition reverting from its previous centralised
The opening round starts with Pool B on Saturday with a
blockbuster State Of Origin clash with star-studded line-ups for NSW Arrows and
Waratahs and Queensland Scorchers and Blades from 2pm (women’s) and 4pm (men’s)
at Sydney Olympic Park.
On Saturday evening, Tassie Van Demons and Tigers host
Canberra Strikers and Lakers at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre from 5:30pm
(women’s) and 7:15pm (men’s).
Pool A commences on Sunday as SA Suns and Hotshots entertain
WA Diamonds and Thundersticks at Adelaide’s State Hockey Centre from 2pm
(women’s) and 3:45pm (men’s).
The round concludes on Sunday evening when the NT Toshiba
Pearls and SRA Stingers welcome the reigning champions, Victoria Vipers and
Vikings, from 5pm (women’s) and 6:45pm (men’s) at Marrara Hockey Centre.
SA Suns v WA
Diamonds, Sunday 7 October 2pm (ACST), State Hockey Centre, Adelaide
Two-time winners SA Suns will be without young talent Miki
Spano, but welcome ex-AHL MVPs Karri McMahon and Jane Claxton and Hockeyroos
keeper Ash Wells. Chile international Mariana Lagos is recruited after playing
in the WA Premier League with North Coast Raiders.
The Diamonds, who haven’t won the AHL since 2010, won’t have
Georgia Wilson throughout the AHL due to a year-long knee injury, but there’s
no shortage of young talent including Aleisha Power, Renee Rockliff and Shanea
SA: Jane Claxton (c), Holly Evans, Celeste Foord, Emily
Grist, Amy Hunt, Euleena MacLachlan, Karri McMahon (c), Ashleigh Morrison,
Alison Penington, Hattie Shand, Lucy Talbot, Leah Welstead, Ashlee Wells (gk),
WA: Phillipa Morgan, Candyce Peacock, Jemma Buckley (c),
Shanea Tonkin, Penny Squibb, Kathryn Slattery, Rachel Frusher, Roos Broek,
Caitlin Pascov, Annie Gibbs, Aleisha Power (gk), Renee Rockliff, Line Malan,
Erin Judd (gk), Sienna Archer, Sara Foster, Danielle Bestall, Sage Rogers-Uff
SA Hotshots v WA
Thundersticks, Sunday 7 October 3:45pm (ACST), State Hockey Centre, Adelaide
Lachlan Busiko is unavailable for the Hotshots as he’s away
in Malaysia with the Burras, but SA are boosted by international pair Sijbrand
Bolhuis and Lee Dong-Hyung.
Ten-time AHL champions WA have their own list of absentees
due to the Sultan of Johor Cup, including Alec Rasmussen, Liam Flynn, Matthew
Fisher, Brayden King and Coby Green, while SA-born Kookaburras forward Tom
Wickham is out with a calf injury.
SA: William Abbott, Sijbrand Bolhuis, Simon Brown, Scott
Germein, Brodie Gleeson, Fred Gray, Ross Hetem, Lee Dong-Hyung, James Keeves,
Luke Larwood, Andy Leat, Daniel Mitchell, Alastair Oliver, Glyn Tamlin, Michael
Wells (gk), Cameron White, Kurtis Willson
WA: Jason Gabriel, Tim Geers, Jake Harvie, Frazer Gerrard,
Marshall Roberts, Tyler Lovell (gk), Coby Green, Graeme Begbie, Will Byas, Dane
Gavranich, Daniel Robertson, Bryn De Bes, Aran Zalewski, Brandon Gibbs, Joshua
Bowen, James Richardson (gk), Joseph Kenny
- Hockey Australia | www.hockey.org.au