By Men’s Premier League coach, Corey Maclean
Last weekend our group spent three days at the Aldinga Beach Holiday Park putting the final touches on what has been a great summer.
The players worked through the values they will hold as a group and the behaviours they need to live those values.
It was a fitting way to end the pre-season. We spent a lot of time at the beach through the December / January period … running in the sand, running up hills and carrying heavy objects rather than sun-baking.
And now it’s time to sink or swim.
This off-season has been somewhat of a period of change for our group. We are younger and are going to put our faith in some young Bearcats. Keep your eyes out for players such as Ben Rennie and Fabian Johnson to break out this season.
We decided to recruit two big imports this season, rather than guard types.
Bryan Jefferson is a long, athletic and versatile and will spend time playing the 3, 4 and 5 positions. Bryan is an active defender and has proven himself at the college level in the USA.
Shane Heyward is also long and athletic, with experience playing in tough leagues throughout the world. Shane will bring shot-blocking, rebounding and inside presence offensively as well as a great 3-point touch.
Both guys are great people and have settled into our group dynamic seamlessly. Look out for both around the club throughout the season.
Paddy Thomas remains our fearless captain while Tommy Kubank returns from college in the US. Both will again be prominent players for our group and are maturing into key pieces for our team on both ends of the floor. We look forward to seeing them to continue to grow.
Anthony Spadavecchia and Blake Truslove will provide steady veteran presence for our group off the bench this season. Their leadership is a key ingredient to the culture of our team.
The return to the club of Patrick Ciganovic has also been a key pick-up this off season. Ciggas can play both the 3 and 4 spots. He has great length, great defensive IQ and a solid outside shooting stroke. His experience in a QBL side over the past few years has seen him grow and develop his game from his junior days.
Our bench group have made the last two Reserves Preliminary Finals and will be led by the experienced Lucas Valk and Rhys Daddow. Youngs guys such as Lachlan Haufe, Matt Fauser, Nick Bowler and Mitch Slater will be looking to take a step forward and get past that Preliminary Final hurdle.
Our coaching group with be the same with both Paul Robinson and Shayne Kaesler return as my assistant coaches. We have a great working relationship and we will continue to work on making this group the best it can be.
We are really excited to kick our season off against the defending champion Tigers. They are a great side and we seem to always have great contests against them. So get down to the Port and help us get our season off to a great start.
The atmosphere at a packed Port Adelaide really is second to none and we need you there!