New Myrtle­ford teams rate their chances

Alpine Observer - - Sport - By JUSTIN JENVEY

BRENDAN Cu­sack says there is an air of ex­cite­ment from play­ers ahead of Myrtle­ford’s first game in the Coun­try Bas­ket­ball League.

The Saints’ new­est men’s and women’s teams will play their first games in the North East com­pe­ti­tion in a home dou­ble header against Wal­lan and Wodonga on Oc­to­ber 21 and 22.

Cu­sack, one of the men’s play­ers and a key driver in ini­ti­at­ing Myrtle­ford’s push into the com­pe­ti­tion said both teams were dream­ing big ahead of their first out­ing.

“All of us are re­ally keen and that ex­cite­ment has grown into a real con­fi­dence,” he said.

“When we orig­i­nally started talk­ing about en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion we knew there was plenty of po­ten­tial but now that both squads are fi­nalised I think other teams will be jeal­ous of the cal­i­bre of play­ers we have.

“We have so much depth in both the men’s and women’s teams that I think we are go­ing to give it a red­hot crack.”

There will be a mix of ex­pe­ri­ence and youth in both sides with Ben McIn­tyre and Wandiligong young­ster Jalen Barker set to be focal points for the men and for the women Re­becca Pi­azza and Paige Zam­per­oni will lead the way.

Cu­sack said ev­ery player had fully com­mit­ted to the cause and Les Stevens had been out­stand­ing as coach of both teams.

“It’s what I hoped would hap­pen but not what I thought would hap­pen, ev­ery player has gone all in,” he said.

“Matt Dy­ball for ex­am­ple was a bit hes­i­tant for a start but hasn’t missed a train­ing ses­sion and is even do­ing stuff out­side of our prac­tices.

“The job Les has done so far has been amaz­ing, he’s been coach­ing for such a long time that it’s just sec­ond na­ture to him and the way he re­lates to play­ers has made things even eas­ier.”

Cu­sack said train­ing was ramp­ing up with just over two weeks un­til the sea­son open­ing tip-off.

“Prac­tice has been in­tense, we’re train­ing two times a week and lately have just been do­ing a lot of scrim­mag­ing,” he said.

“The men’s and women’s sides have even been go­ing against each, the young play­ers are push­ing the older ones along and vice versa and as a new club that’s been great to build that cul­ture.

“We’ve al­ready poured so much into this and you can see the po­ten­tial long term, it’s go­ing to take off.”

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