The Team

Aspire Cricket Coaching was founded by James Hockley and Dan Stickels in 2017. Find out more about Dan and James below as well the rest of our expert coaches.

picture of James Hockley (Co-Founder)

James Hockley (Co-Founder)

I have been a cricket coach for nearly 20 years now and for the majority of that time, I have been employed at Marlborough House School in Kent. Over the past few winters, I have spent time with the Kent County Academy lads down at Canterbury working mainly with the batting group plus a number of the County age group sides. As a player, I represented Kent for 8 years as a pro, playing alongside some of the world’s best cricketers like Rahul Dravid and Steve Waugh to name a couple! Since my Pro career came to an end, I have been playing at Hartley Country Club in the Kent Premier league. We had a very successful time as a club and won the league 6 out of 9 seasons! Personally, I currently hold the highest ever league score (283 not out) and the most hundreds and total runs in the league. Coaching for me,  is a passion. I find it hugely rewarding helping young players move up through their development and I enjoy nothing more than passing on my experiences and knowledge that I have gained over the years, to aspiring young cricketers. 

Fun Facts

  • Highest score: 283*
  • Best bowling: 8/48
  • Favourite player: Steve Waugh
  • Nickname: Ice, Hockers
  • Favourite band: Oasis
  • Favourite film: The Bourne movies
  • Other interests: Golf
  • Favourite quote: Only those who risk going too far, can possibly find out how far they can go.

picture of Dan Stickels (Co-Founder)

Dan Stickels (Co-Founder)

I have been coaching for the last 8 years at various representative levels including district and more recently county level. I am currently Head Coach for the Kent Under 13 Boys and working with the Kent Under 17/Women squad. As a player I was on the Kent Academy for 5 years representing Kent Second Eleven and carrying the drinks for the first team (“water boy”). This is where I first got the pleasure of opening the batting with Ice (James Hockley). During my time on the Academy I managed to get across to India a couple of times to learn new ways of playing and developing my game (mainly against spin). I have recently finished my 10th and final season in the Kent Premier League (highest score of 165) where I have played for St Lawrence and Highland Court and for the last 6 seasons Hartley once again opening the batting with Ice (on the odd occasion I outscored him). A personal career highlight was skippering Hartley to a premier league championship during the 2016 season (learnt more in 1 season than in 10 years). Just like Ice cricket is my number one passion and more recently I have found this in coaching. Not just passing on my cricketing knowledge but helping young cricketers develop their soft skills which they can apply in day to day life.

Fun Facts

  • Highest score: 165
  • Favourite player: Mike Hussey/Sachin Tendulkar
  • Nickname: Sticky/Tess/Pickles
  • Favourite band: Coldplay
  • Favourite film: The Shawshank Redemption
  • Other interests: Cricket
  • Favourite quote: "in the course of my life I have often had to eat my own words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet"

picture of Jake Hutson (Lead Wicket Keeping Coach)

Jake Hutson (Lead Wicket Keeping Coach)

Jake is a leading wicket-keeper batsman who has played and won the Kent Premier League with Hartley Country Club numerous times. Jake has played 2nd XI cricket for both Kent and Sussex.