WNBL Team Watch: Southside Flyers
OUR Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) team watch series comes to an end with the reigning premiers in the Southside Flyers. The Flyers were the most dominant team of the 2020 season (by a fair margin too) and will be looking to claim elusive back-to-back championships. Unfortunately, there are seven other teams looking to prevent them from achieving this goal, however their performance last year demonstrated the fact that they are capable of winning it all for a number of years.
The Flyers lost just two games throughout the entire season, and were the benchmark for the rest of the league with their outstanding consistency at a high level. The team cruised to a grand final, where they defeated the Townsville Fire to claim their maiden WNBL championship. The side joined the league prior to the 2019/20 season, and were a league powerhouse from their very first season, finishing on top of the ladder, but fell short in the grand final series. This was amended the following year, as the team took advantage of the shortened season and were able to finish on top of the ladder with 11 wins. Claiming a championship in an organisation’s second year must be applauded, and they will be looking to repeat this feat in the upcoming season.
The team was obviously benefited by the addition of Liz Cambage for the 2020 season, but they also had a plethora of contributors who will return this upcoming season. The club was able to re-sign Sara Blicavs, who was selected to the All-WNBL team for her efforts in 2020 where she averaged 13.7 points and 7.5 rebounds. Retaining Blicavs was crucial, as there would have been a line of clubs interested in attaining her services. Joining her in the ‘handy re-signing’ category is Bec Cole, fresh off an impressive campaign with averages of 15.5 points and 4.3 assists for the 29-year-old. The club also brought back captain Jenna O’Hea as expected.
The club grabbed one of the biggest free agents in the offseason, with guard Maddison Rocci joining the club, fresh off a career-best year with the Capitals. Rocci won the MVP award for her former side and was fourth in league MVP voting, and will add another dimension to the team with her established play. Also joining the team are guard Kate Gaze and Emilee Harmon.
Since their inclusion to the league, the Southside Flyers have been a force to be reckoned with. Despite winning the ultimate prize last season, expect them to come out as hungry as ever to defend their title and show off their offseason additions.
Photo credit: Southside Flyers Facebook