SKIPPER SET FOR HER LAST HURRAH
CAPTAIN Suzy Batkovic believes the Townsville Fire’s new recruits can have an immediate impact in tomorrow’s opening round WNBL clash with Dandenong at Townsville Stadium.
The defending champions are leaving no stone unturned in their quest for a fourth title in five seasons, bringing in the likes of Opals guard Tess Madgen, WNBA draftee Ally Malott and three- point weapon Casey Samuels.
The Fire showed great signs in their final practice match last weekend, shooting above 80 per cent in a blistering first quarter as they fought out a 71- 71 draw with the Heat under- 23 men.
Batkovic said there was always a learning curve in the first official game of the season, but she believed the Fire had a talented squad which could set the competition alight.
“We’ve got a new team with different players so the first few rounds are always going to be a bit of a learning stage to see how teams are running and where players slot in,” she said.
“You see it day in day out ( at training), but when we put it together on the floor in a game mode it’s completely different, so I’m really looking forward to what everyone brings.
“We’ll be aggressive and also working our butts off on defence, but at the same time it will be good for us to work out what other teams are doing as well.”
Batkovic recently revealed that this would be her last season in the WNBL after a decorated career of more than 300 games and five championships, including three in Townsville.
The six- time WNBL MVP has done her best to avoid the extra attention heading into her final campaign, but she said there was one milestone this week which she was happy to celebrate.
“I actually said the other day with a big smile ‘ preseason’s finished and I never have to do that ever again’ so that was nice,” Batkovic said.