SIX IMMEDIATE STEPS TO IMPROVE TAIPANS
QHow do you see the current Cairns Taipans situation and what can the club do to return to the NBL finals in 2019?
AIt’s time for the Taipans board to consider changes. The club constantly promotes that it spends less on players than other NBL teams and because of that, the people of Cairns should simply be content with the Taipans achieving mediocre results and being a bottomfour team. Our community can no longer accept the financial excuse as justification for the team possessing a losing record. Money doesn’t win championships, extracting the absolute best from the talent you have does. Regardless of what amount the Taipans spend on their roster, the ultimate goal every season should be to win an NBL championship and if the team doesn’t, there needs to be a deeper investigation as to why. The Taipans unquestionably have the talent to make the playoffs and be legitimate title contenders – this has been proven in the past. What are the reasons behind the failure to achieve that goal yet again this season? I’m a born and bred, proud and passionate Cairns native and I want to see our local team win NBL titles, not just be satisfied with “making up the numbers”. The leaders of the organisation need to think more like winners, research what processes other successful sporting clubs have, and begin implementing strategic and operational plans that align with an overall vision of securing championships. Using my coaching expertise, six immediate things the club needs to accomplish to make a finals run in 2019 are: scrap the equal opportunity offence and build around Mitch McCarron as your main scoring threat; use the athleticism of Cameron Gliddon, Damon Heuir, Jarrad Weeks and McCarron by playing a more dynamic and uptempo style; execute sets that get the ball to Nate Jawai (right) on the lowpost where he’s most effective, instead of putting him in hand-offs and on-ball screens on the perimeter; recruit overseas import players that are actually going to start, play substantial minutes and make a productive impact; re-sign veteran forward Alex Loughton; and lastly, bring in some homegrown Cairns talent like a James Mitchell or Matthew Adekponya. Homegrown talent to a community-owned club should be very important. On Nate, I really felt for him when he got injured in the opening game of the season. He worked tirelessly in the pre-season to get himself in remarkable shape and to see him go down was devastating.