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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.

By Nicole Gibson

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
to win.”

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

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