Tassie Tigers Announce Former Kookaburra Luke Doerner as New Head Coach of Hockey One Women’s Team
Tasmania’s Hockey One club, the Tassie Tigers, have today officially unveiled the inaugural women’s head coach, revealing former Men’s international star player, Olympian, and World Cup winner Luke Doerner will take over the role for 2019.
Hockey Tasmania CEO Damian Smith said it was an exciting fresh start for the elite women’s program and he hoped that this announcement would represent a shift in their fortunes at national level.
“Luke brings with him a wealth of international experience and success at the very highest levels. Having someone of Doerner’s calibre step into this role to usher us into the new Hockey One league is a massive capture for us and demonstrates the direction that the Tassie Tigers are taking,” he said.
New Tassie Tigers Women’s Head Coach Luke Doerner has been recently serving as the Head Drag-Flicking Coach for the Belgium Men’s and Women’s sides, and was part of their rapid rise up the world rankings. He saw the Men rise to World Champions last year before slipping back to second after losing to Australia in the 2019 Pro-League Final, and the Belgium Women crack into the world top 10 for the first time.
He said the changes recently to Hockey Tasmania gave him confidence to step into the role, as well as the added opportunity to establish a women’s development academy to improve the pathways for female players to take the next step.
“It was one of the reasons that I got involved. I think the level of [women’s hockey] across the board needs a fair bit of help, and I think I can implement some things, along with Hockey Tasmania, to change the direction of the women’s game in Tassie. There are good athletes that we’ve produced that we have lost, so we want to keep them involved and also create pathways that allow younger athletes to head for higher goals,” he said.
He sees the new Hockey One league and the Tassie Tigers involvement in it a great opportunity to improve the sport and increase player welfare in terms of less time away from work and family but longer engagement in a high-level competition.
“The home-and-away format gives every athlete a chance to play. You don’t need to take two weeks off from work. I think it’s the best format we can have in Australia, and it’s a good pathway… to be exposed to senior selectors for Australian sides,” he said.
The first game for the Tassie Tigers is on October 5 against the Adelaide Fire at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre.