Murray won’t give up on Opals dream
TOWNSVILLE Fire veteran Mia Murray hasn’t closed the door on her Australian Opals aspirations and hopes a change of coach will result in a change of luck.
Murray is one of the WNBL’s most consistent and verstatile guards, but is yet to wear the green and gold despite being a cornerstone of the Fire’s backto- back championships in 2014- 15 and 2015- 16.
The 28- year- old was overlooked for the Opals’ current FIBA Asia Cup campaign in India, which is new coach Sandy Brondello’s first major assignment in charge.
“They’ve definitely opened the door for new players to come in and I don’t think that door’s completely shut for me,” Murray said.
“I had a fairly consistent year last year and it was disappointing not to get into the squad, but obviously it’s still a dream to play in the green and gold and I’m not discounting it yet.
“Going to that international level it’s about going to the next level with your quickness and speed and being able to guard that shorter player.
“Three- point shooting is something I can take to the team. There’s obviously reasons why I didn’t make the squad and I’ve had a chat with Claudia ( Brassard, Fire coach) about things I need to work on to get to that next level.
“It’s hard to worry about myself in a WNBL season, working on those things within the season will put me in good stead.”
The Fire’s title defence ended against eventual champion Sydney in last season’s finals, but they have recruited strongly, led by the return of power forward Cayla George and WNBA sharpshooter Sydney Wiese.
The league will be stronger than ever with other teams recruiting heavily, with the Melbourne Boomers luring back star centre Liz Cambage.
“We’ve been the benchmark for so long and were still in finals last year, but I guess we slipped a little bit and teams are recruiting heavily to match us,” Murray said.
“Obviousy teams are going for their ‘ bigs’ first to battle our big two, and having Liz back in the mix is great for the league and the sport in general.
“It was always going to be very hard to get three in a row, but for sure we want to get back up there.”
The Fire have partnered with Lendlease ahead of the WNBL season to deliver their flagship schools program, which involves more than 50 school visits in North Queensland.
Headed up by championship- winning captain Rachael McCully, the program includes basketball clinics, as well as educational components on lifestyle.