Jacob Anderson fired a superb hat-trick as Australia hammered Great Britain 6-1 to book their place in the final of hockey’s Pro League Grand Final in the Netherlands on Friday.
Hockey in Western Australia is about to face its biggest ever challenge.
The AIS and Hockey Australia High Performance program, along with all the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras players, are set to leave Western Australia for the east coast when the program moves in 2018-2019.
For the future of Australian hockey, the program must move and it’s the best thing that could ever happen for both Australian hockey and WA hockey.
However, WA hockey must re-structure in order for success after this occurs. If they continue to do what they are doing now, they will fade into the background and no longer be able to lay claim to being a power of Australian hockey.
The following must occur:
The Premier 1 (MTL League) in WA must completely restructure in both men’s and women’s down to eight teams in each competition for the first two years, then expand to ten teams in the third year.
These teams should be set up as Premier 1 clubs only, there would be four clubs in the metro area and four-country based clubs:
1. North Suburban: Joondalup, North Coast Raiders, Whitfords, Hale, Newman, (other Northern suburbs based clubs.)
2. South Suburban: Fremantle, Melville, WASPS, Canning, Southern River, Dale, Curtin Trinity Pirates, (other Southern Suburbs clubs)
3. West Suburban: UWA, Suburban Lions, Westside Wolves, YMCC, (other Western Suburbs clubs)
4. East Suburban: Old Guildford, Eastern Blades, ECU Rangers, Vic Park Panthers, Kalamunda, (other Eastern suburbs clubs)
5. Rockingham/Peel: The current Rockingham Hockey Club and Peel Hockey Rebels would merge to form one club which will cover the Rockingham/Peel Region.
6. South West Strikers: would continue as they currently stand.
7. Midwest: a new team based Geraldton.
8. Goldfields: a new team based in Kalgoolie.
After the first two years, two more clubs would be added:
9. Lower Great Southern.
10. Upper Great Southern.
All metro clubs would continue, they would just play in lower grades and act as feeder clubs to the new Premier 1 clubs.
This is a bold change and I know clubs in Perth will kick and scream, but the current structure will not work when you haven’t got the Hockeyroos, Kookaburras and AIS players making the competition strong.
Once these players are gone, the competition will dramatically weaken.
It’s time to change.