The 2014/15 WNBL season is right around the corner and The Pick and Roll team will be previewing each team for the next to weeks. Next up, the Townsville Fire.
2013/14 Record: 16-8 (3rd)
The Fire were able to book a date in the WNBL Grand Final last season after finishing third in the regular season. The highlight of the year came went they trumped the Dandenong Rangers in the preliminary final off the back of one of the strongest team performances of the season.
While team success was so agonisingly close, the Fire received personal accolades with Suzy Batkovic named the WNBL Most Valuable Player, leading the league in rebounds per game.
Who’s New: Cayla Francis, Kate Gaze, Jillian Harmon, Jacqui Zelenka.
You Won’t See: Alicia Froling (SMU), Keely Froling (SMU), Tiana Mangakahia, Kayla Standish, Olivia Thompson (Melbourne Boomers)
Back Again: Suzy Batkovic, Micaela Cocks, Stephanie Cumming, Rosie Fadljevic, Rachael McCully, Mia Newley, Alex Wilson
Coaching Staff: Chris Lucas (Head Coach), Claudia Brassard (Assistant Coach), Mark Wrobel (Assistant Coach)
The question is always floating around as to whether or not this is the season that Suzy Batkovic starts slowing down and becoming just a role player. The answer this season will probably make or break the Townsville Fire as to how well they can back up last season’s successful campaign which saw them pipped at the post to a deserving Bendigo outfit.
Coming off a stellar 2013/14 WNBL season which saw her take out yet another league MVP, Batkovic will be hoping that lingering injuries don’t play a major part in season 2014/15. A back injury kept her off the court for some time last season, before dominating the league with 20.3ppg (second in the league) and 13rpg (led the league). Batkovic, however, won’t be worrying about personal achievements this season, as her main goal is to claim Townsville’s first ever WNBL championship.
Townsville were there or there abouts all season last Summer and from their off-season moves they should be sitting in a prime spot once more. New addition Cayla Francis will certainly solidify the middle and help out Batkovic in the front court, while Kate Gaze looks to compete for minutes at both the 1 and 2 spot. Olivia Thompson may prove to be a bigger loss than one would consider, with the forward looking to make a splash for the Melbourne Boomers this season.
The 2014/15 WNBL season is right around the corner and The Pick and Roll team will be previewing each team for the next to weeks. Next up, the Bendigo Spirit.