Pi­rates are ready to set sail Sun­day

The Riverine Herald - - BOWLS - By An­drew John­ston

BAS­KET­BALL sea­son is rar­ing to go, with the Echuca Se­nior Pi­rates and Lady Pi­rates be­gin­ning their cam­paigns this Sun­day.

With both teams com­ing off less than stel­lar sea­sons, the club is look­ing to de­velop win­ning sides and to bet­ter re­sults in the new sea­son.

Both teams will be tak­ing on the Shep­par­ton Ga­tors at the Echuca bas­ket­ball sta­dium, with the ac­tion start­ing at noon.

The Lady Pi­rates are com­ing off a one win sea­son, but there is hope for im­prove­ment from within the squad.

For Lady Pi­rates coach Si­mon Eish­old, the de­vel­op­ment of his play­ers takes pri­or­ity.

‘‘Our Lady Pi­rates team is a young team, typ­i­cally full of our Ju­nior Pi­rates who ex­ceed the age of Un­der 18 ju­nior com­pe­ti­tions,’’ Eish­old said.

‘‘The con­cept of the Lady Pi­rates is to give the girls an op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue play­ing com­pet­i­tive bas­ket­ball at a rel­a­tively high stan­dard, and hope­fully we be­come a suc­cess­ful team over time.

‘‘I’m a coach who tries to give the girls an op­por­tu­nity to play the game, so we will play a game style rel­a­tive to who we are.’’

With new coach Leo Te­nace at the helm, the young Se­nior Pi­rates will be look­ing to take the next step as se­nior play­ers.

‘‘I’ve got 18 play­ers on my list, 16 of them are Ju­nior Pi­rates, and only five of them are over 20. A lot of these mem­bers who played last year have just grown, got­ten a bit stronger and a bit more con­fi­dent in their abil­i­ties. We’re a very ex­cit­ing side, and I think we’ll be very com­pet­i­tive.’’

The Ju­nior Pi­rates pro­gram, which has fed the ma­jor­ity of both se­nior lists, has been a ma­jor suc­cess.

The de­vel­op­ment sys­tem has proved its qual­ity re­cently, with club mem­bers Maia Roberts, Will Ro­hde and Luke Rosendale all se­lected to rep­re­sent Coun­try Vic­to­ria at Jan­uary’s Al­bury Cup.

Academy coach Chris Hut­ton spoke of his pride at the play­ers be­ing se­lected.

‘‘It’s all pos­i­tive. It’s been great work­ing with the kids through the academy. I think they’ll do great rep­re­sent­ing Vic Coun­try.’’

Coaches of both sides have called on mem­bers of the Echuca com­mu­nity to come out and show sup­port for the club.

If any­one is in­ter­ested in help­ing out the club with scor­ing, man­ning the door or can­teen and bar, you can con­tact the club on 5480 6903 or by email at echu­cabas­ket­ball@big­pond.com.

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