Away games offer Wildcats early hurdle
BASKETBALL: The Warwick Wildcats will have to get through a tough schedule early in their season when their campaign opens in early May.
The Wildcats will play their first three games of the Southern Basketball League away from home, before a stretch of home games at the end of the season.
Wildcats coach Jeff Clark said it was not ideal, but his team needed to get through it.
"It will be tough to win away from home," Clark said.
"But it's good to have those home games at the end.
"If we can get the away games out of the way and win a couple of them too, we can gain momentum by playing at home towards the end of the season."
Clark said Warwick's first two opponents would be virtual unknowns.
"Our first two opponents are new to the competition," he said.
"We don't know what to expect and it also makes it hard to measure yourself because you don't know how good they will be.
"Against other teams you know how good they've been, so you can put yourself up against them."
Clark said the Wildcats squad, which was finalised after trials at WIRAC last weekend, was as he'd expected.
"There were no surprises in terms of who turned up for the trials," Clark said.
"Everyone is a local except for Declan Starast, and he lived here, but moved away, so I know all of the players well."
With his squad slightly undersize, Clark said he would be looking to play an up-tempo style of basketball.
"A couple of guys will have to step into different roles than what they're used to because of that lack of size," he said.
"But we'll look to push the ball a bit and get the ball up the court as quickly as possible.
"It's easy to get sucked into turnovers playing fast so we've got to do it in a controlled manner."
Sign-on day spurs growth
Wednesday night basketball at WIRAC continues to grow with more than 10 new players signing up since the sign-on day in February, according to Warwick Basketball draw master and publicity officer Damien Byrnes.
Warwick Basketball Association treasurer Darren Byrne said it was good for Warwick basketball.
"It's always good to have new people to the game," Byrne said.
"There are a lot of good players in Warwick around that 22, 23 age, but not so many around 15 or so.
"I think the sport's been a bit out of sight, out of mind after there was a period with no free-to-air television coverage.
"Hopefully kids can get access to good coaching and they stay in basketball."