Lightning sparks a new fire for Buckle
IF former Townsville Fire coach Peter Buckle was looking for a new challenge in the WNBL, he has found one of the biggest at the Adelaide Lightning.
The Australian Opals assistant, who revealed to the Townsville Bulletin on Monday that he would not negotiate to extend his four-year stay in the North, has signed a three-year deal with the once competition powerhouse team. Buckle replaces Steve Breheny, who became the second coach in as many years to be axed at the end of the campaign by the club.
Taking the top job of a side that bottomed out, finishing ninth in the 10-team compet- ition, is a posting looks forward to.
‘‘ It is a challenge, but I’m excited about it,’’ he said.
‘‘ It’s a very strong basketball state and the Adelaide Lightning has both a very s t r o n g o wner a n d c o mmunity who are looking forward to recapturing their strength in the game.’’
Having taken the job in Townsville as a rookie in A u s t r a l i a ’ s t o p - f l i g h t women’s competition, leading the Fire to back-to-back finals during his tenure, has been an ideal apprenticeship for the fast-rising tactician.
‘‘ Now it’s time for me to move on and use those experiences,’’ he said.