WSBL – The Left Bank Head Coach Tyrone Thwaites
Thank you to all of our Cougar Family that came out to support our men and women last weekend as they returned home for the first time in 2020. Our Cougar women are an exciting group that are focussed on building a culture of hard work that will hold our program in good stead for 2021.
We have two experienced leaders in Nicole Roberts and Jodee Sontay who have embraced the challenge of working with our youth to keep developing.
Our group has lost a lot of size for this reduced season, with imports Alina Hartmann and Alex Wittinger not able to return, while Matilda Muir won’t return to the court for a few weeks.
This has presented a great opportunity for new Cougar Emma Burke to build some momentum as we work through the West Coast Classic. Young Tia Morgan (17 years old) is an exciting talent the Cougar Family will enjoy watching on the floor, and is growing each week against some very good opposition.
Excitingly, the coaching staff has watched Sally Graham blossom into a confident young Cougar, someone who exhibits the Cougar spirit more than most.
This week we face a very talented Lakeside Lightning group. Ash Isenbarger, Courtney Mansfield and Ellyce Ironmonger have been around this league a long time, and having played them in the pre-season blitz we know they are a handful. They come in as one of the favourites for this reduced season, and we welcome the challenge from Steve Bezant’s ladies.
Lastly, on behalf of the Cougar Family we want to wish Jesni Cooper the best of luck in her travels over to Hawaii Pacific University to begin her college career. Jes is new to our fam this year, and we look forward to her returning in May next year to continue a big future in the blue and gold.
MSBL – MJ Walker Head Coach Andrew Cooper
We faced a tough double header for us last week and our weaknesses really got shown up on Friday against the Redbacks. I know the players were hurting after that loss and to their credit, everything that we value improved on Saturday night.
Some toughness was displayed by Jake Harris and debutant Noah Stewart showed some glimpses on the defensive end that made the coaching staff pretty happy.
Jaarod Holmes was able to show some new aspects of his offensive game and we look forward to seeing him continue to improve moving forward.
The level we played at on Saturday is our benchmark and we know we need to keep improving, especially with quality opposition coming in to the Den this week in the Lakeside Lightning.
Coached by a great coach in Dave Daniels, someone who I respect highly, they will offer another huge challenge for us. They have a quality young local group and play a fast, up tempo style that will test our defence.
It was great to see a packed house last week and the boys lifted because of the fantastic crowd support. This week we will aim to lift to another level and continue to improve as a group.
My introduction to the Cougar Family has been something I’ve really enjoyed, so thank you to the community for being so welcoming as we face this exciting season head on!