SIX IM­ME­DI­ATE STEPS TO IM­PROVE TAIPANS

The Weekend Post - - Sport -

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.

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