14 November, 2020
From the Fire Pit
Coach Shannon Seebom is expecting big things from his team with a mix of youth and experience set to level the WNBL playing field for the Townsville Fire this season.
At one end of the scale is Australian Opals star Lauren Nicholson who the team welcomed into the fold from the Adelaide Lightning.
At the other is up and coming future star 19-year-old Shyla Heal, daughter of NBL great Shane Heal.
Heal made WNBL history when she debuted at the age of 14 as one of the league’s youngest players ever.
Seebom said their more experienced players had done a great job mentoring younger players pre-season and that would give them advantages in the competition.
“We’re probably the youngest team in the competition and hopefully that means we can bounce back quickly from game to game,” he said.
“I think we’ll be quite a versatile group that can probably get up and down and play a fairly free flowing style.”
While he acknowledged the season’s condensed format presented new challenges for players he was confident it wasn’t anything the team couldn’t overcome.
“That amount of games in a short period is going to present some challenges that we’re not used to dealing with but as long as we balance minutes out early on and do our recovery I think we’ll be fine,” Seebom said.
Off the back of a good pre-season Seebom said the team were all fit and healthy and strict adherence to recovery protocols would ensure they remained that way.
“We’ve got protocols in place and it’s about making sure pre and post practice we’re doing the right things,” he said.
“We’ll be doing everything we can to turn up at each game as fresh as possible and have the legs to get through and play at a high level.”
This year’s WNBL saw teams head north in order to overcome the impact of COVID-19 and has resulted in a grueling schedule for all players.
“The schedule’s going to be one of the difficult ones for every team to deal with but there’s obviously a lot of really talented players and some really great coaches on all of the teams so every game is going to be tough,” Seebom said.
“It’s going to be one of those leagues where the
team that shows up ready to play each game is going
JCU Townsville Fire
Head Coach: Shannon Seebohm
Assistant Coach: Tania Baxter,
Luke Brennan and Mason Rogers
Name No Position
Zitina Aokuso 15 Power Fwd
Aliza Fabbro 23 Guard
Kate Gaze 11 Guard
Shyla Heal 4 Guard
Lara McSpadden 14 Centre
Kelsey McDermott 9 Guard
Megan McKay 25 Centre
Mia Murray 10 Small Fwd
Lauren Nicholson 1 Guard
Nadeen Payne 12 Power Fwd
Stephanie Reid 3 Guard
Sharna Thompson 20 Guard
Courtney Woods 7 Guard