Ash Nelson presents the all-new hockey podcast with her first guest the Black Sticks’ Pippa Hayward sharing a candid insight into her journey representing New Zealand with over 100 caps to her name
Former Hockeyroos player Ash Nelson brings her vibrant and popular personality to The Circle—an all-new monthly podcast about field hockey with exclusive interviews and perspectives. During her time playing for the Australian national squad Ash developed special relationships with other players and offers a unique insight into this popular team sport. Her passion for the game and enthusiasm for women’s sport in general is conveyed in her own inimitable style. Her first guest is Black Sticks’ player Pippa Hayward who has played over 100 games for New Zealand and is candid about her journey in the sport.
I think I was a bolshy little kid with curly hair and red cheeks.
Podcast length: 36′ 45″
Ashleigh Jayne Nelson (born 5 March 1987 in Narrogin) was a striker for the Australia women’s national field hockey team The Hockeyroos. Ash made her international debut in 2007 against Japan and at the start of the 2011 season she had played 71 games for Australia, scoring 33 international goals. She has played in many international tournaments, including the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where she secured a field goal from lying on the ground as well as a penalty flick. Australia defeated New Zealand for the gold medal in penalty flicks 4–2 after drawing with them 2–2 after 15 minutes of extra time. She also played in the World Cup in Argentina in 2010 and the Champion’s Trophy in Sydney in 2009 where she scored her first goal against China.
When not playing for Australia she wore the number 14 for the Smokefree WA Diamonds. Ash was part of a very exciting period for the Diamonds, debuting in 2006 and winning 4 out of 5 AHL finals. She was voted best on ground in the 2010 final against Queensland and the highest goal scorer in 2010 for both the AHL and Australian Hockeyroos. Ash was also a member of the 2012 Summer Olympic squad and the gold medal winning squad at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Ash grew up in Wagin, in rural Western Australia, where she began playing hockey at the age of 5. She attended boarding school at Santa Maria College for her high school years and was honoured with the title of Head Girl of the college in 2004. She graduated from Curtin University 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. Ash now enjoys a very busy lifestyle combining a growing career and her hockey commitments for Australia.