BASKETBALL season is raring to go, with the Echuca Senior Pirates and Lady Pirates beginning their campaigns this Sunday.
With both teams coming off less than stellar seasons, the club is looking to develop winning sides and to better results in the new season.
Both teams will be taking on the Shepparton Gators at the Echuca basketball stadium, with the action starting at noon.
The Lady Pirates are coming off a one win season, but there is hope for improvement from within the squad.
For Lady Pirates coach Simon Eishold, the development of his players takes priority.
‘‘Our Lady Pirates team is a young team, typically full of our Junior Pirates who exceed the age of Under 18 junior competitions,’’ Eishold said.
‘‘The concept of the Lady Pirates is to give the girls an opportunity to continue playing competitive basketball at a relatively high standard, and hopefully we become a successful team over time.
‘‘I’m a coach who tries to give the girls an opportunity to play the game, so we will play a game style relative to who we are.’’
With new coach Leo Tenace at the helm, the young Senior Pirates will be looking to take the next step as senior players.
‘‘I’ve got 18 players on my list, 16 of them are Junior Pirates, and only five of them are over 20. A lot of these members who played last year have just grown, gotten a bit stronger and a bit more confident in their abilities. We’re a very exciting side, and I think we’ll be very competitive.’’
The Junior Pirates program, which has fed the majority of both senior lists, has been a major success.
The development system has proved its quality recently, with club members Maia Roberts, Will Rohde and Luke Rosendale all selected to represent Country Victoria at January’s Albury Cup.
Academy coach Chris Hutton spoke of his pride at the players being selected.
‘‘It’s all positive. It’s been great working with the kids through the academy. I think they’ll do great representing Vic Country.’’
Coaches of both sides have called on members of the Echuca community to come out and show support for the club.
If anyone is interested in helping out the club with scoring, manning the door or canteen and bar, you can contact the club on 5480 6903 or by email at [email protected]